Friday, May 21, 2010

Last little bits (yesterdays post)

Ran out of time to post this yesterday:
We are basically packed and ready to go. It seems that one can never be totally packed until the last hour when suddenly you start running around remembering things that for some reason or other you couldn't think of - until the last hour!

It's been a busy day already. L has been up since 6:30am. A tad early for him. There has already been a decent size bump on his eyebrow from the coffee table, a small dose of arnica, and lots of cuddles. Poor guy. :(

Yesterday did not go according to plan (as they never do), and not even a tiny stitch happened. I suppose that project will need to wait until we get back.

I feel surprisingly relaxed about our trip. Usually we are fairly disorganized which leads to feeling overwhelmed and tense. There is definitely something to be said for packing ahead.

Travel is such a great time to get away from the things that sometimes tend to crowd our lives more than they should, therefore we will be leaving the laptop and cell phone behind. I will visit internet cafe's as regularly as possible, but they seem to be quite pricey in Italy (5-8 Euro per hour). In Asia it cost, generally, 25 to 30 baht per hour which is less than a dollar! It is hard not to compare prices once you have been somewhere so inexpensive. I will post here at least weekly.


So here we are in Milan, Italy! An extremely long day yesterday,but last night wasn,t even too bad (the keyboard is different and I can,t quite grasp it in case you haven,t noticed). Levi slept on and off through the day. He woke from a "nap" at about 1am where he was fully ready for playing! He played for about an hour and a half and then back to bed until 9am this morning. Since that is technically 3am at home he is a little out of sorts today, and sadly there seems to be a cold brewing. We,re off to find something to ward it off for him before it gets out of hand. We had some Coryzale, a homeopathic remedy, (spelled right??) but are fresh out.

Breakfast at the hostel consisted of coffee and various packaged waffles & croissants with flavoured, sugary creams in the centre. I think this is a pretty average breakfast here.

Last night we had the greatest pizza ever, and we aren,t even in Naples which is the "home" of pizza. I figured pizza was pizza, but seriously not the case! The basil was the freshest tasting basil in the world,I am sure. It is funny all the small nuances that you can,t find information about, but know you aren,t doing right. We just sensed that we were inappropriate about something at dinner- Maybe eating too much of the bread at the table, maybe sharing a pizza instead of having one each as seems to be the way, maybe we ate too quickly and didn,t linger long enough as tends to be more the custom at home(to "eat and run").There was definitely something. We,ll need to really observe locals while we,re out.

L is LOVING all the attention and total strangers keep reaching out to hold him. The woman who runs our hostel gave him a toy this morning. Everyone stops to talk to him. He,ll be speaking Italian before we know it!

We,re heading to see the "The Last Supper" right now and then boarding a train to Venice!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Something special is around the corner...

I'm not talking about this current project, which I am trying to squeak in before we leave for Italy in 2 days. I am talking about a certain someone's milestone FIRST BIRTHDAY!! We have about a week when we get back from Italy to get everything organized, so I figured I should try and get at least one project done now.

The top right of this last pic shows the flags I originally made for his birthday bunting. I sewed all the back pieces on and then realized I forgot to put my letters on first. When I satin stitched around the letters it would have shown through the back which would have annoyed me, so I decided to make another one.

All the tedious cutting and ironing is done, so tomorrow it's on with the sewing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rag Bag

We stopped using paper towels several years ago and have never looked back. We simply quit buying them, and got used to grabbing for a rag when we would have otherwise reached for a paper towel.
When I saw the idea for the "Rag bag" in Soulemama's inspiring book Handmade Home, it was too perfect. Instead of a pile of rags sitting in the cupboard under our sink they would be tidily contained in one convenient little spot.

I adapted her version slightly and found the project super easy. It's something I use every day.
I repurposed 2 old tea towels that have never been very efficient, added a braided hemp drawstring, and appliqued letters using a soft recycled denim material and this template.


***Much more important than my Rag Bag - My baby boy said "Mama" yesterday!!! What a feeling... :)

A Work In Progress...

I ambitiously decided (3 months ago) my first crochet project should be a blanket. It isn't a difficult task, but it is a lengthy one which can be taxing as a beginner. I figured that it would take long enough that I would have the opportunity to make MANY mistakes and feel confident enough to tackle anything once I had finally finished. I really wanted to make something that I would use regularly, and see all the time. An afghan I can cozy up with on the couch seemed like the perfect project. I originally planned to make a granny square blanket, but the colours of yarn I had chosen were begging to be stripes.

This project is a commitment for sure. It will likely still be in the works a year from now. Every now and then when the mood strikes me, or the moment finds me I pick it up and work in another couple of stitches. I love holding it away from myself a little and checking out my progress. There is nothing more satisfying than creating something useful. 75 rows to go!

(*This is the pattern I am using. I have chosen only 5 colours, with a total of 95 rows. )

Friday, May 14, 2010

{This Moment}

{this moment} Inspired by Soulemama- "A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

I just HAVE to add a word or two:
Ah, summer...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Today in History...

Well, 5 years has passed. A mere blip in the grand scheme of things, really. On this day in 2005, a very *lucky* Friday the 13th saw a 10 year relationship become a Marriage!
I love that we are non-stop, out of control dreamers. It takes a while for our silly ramblings to become a reality, but it usually does happen. It makes me so excited for the next 5 years, and the 5 after that, and so on, and so on... :)
More babies, more adventures, and many, many more laughs. There are too many reasons I said yes to him, and there are so many more I say yes to 50 more years.
Today in History...
I married my best friend xoxo

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Packing Predicament

So, our hotel had been previously booked up sending us elsewhere after two nights.
Nothing makes you more aware of how poorly you packed then when it is time to put it all together and change locations.
Getting organised and moved has been a definite lesson in packing for us as we leave for Italy in less than 2 weeks, and have brought everything but the kitchen sink to a hotel one hour from our home!

As we all know, practice makes perfect. 10 years from now I’ll likely still be stating that as my excuse for the self-inflicted chaos on our adventures!
Seeing as we love travel and would love to be able to share that with our children as much as possible, this is something we need to figure out sooner rather than later.

I am quite sure the solution is as simple as advance preparation. Like Tom Sawyer said “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”
When packing at the last minute, panic sets in and everything we otherwise would not have found necessary stirs up thoughts of “what if…?”, leaving us overburdened with baggage.

It is an admirable feat if one can master the overall art of packing for a child considering the massive variety of possible trips such as camping, backpacking, hostelling, resorts, cruises, and so on.
As it goes, as soon as we feel confidently sorted for travels with Levi, he will get another year older which means new interests and changing needs.

…And so begins the epic journey toward the perfect packing list. Face it – travel will never be the same again.

After nearly 2 years of living out of backpacks this is as good as we could do? For shame...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chillin' like Bob Dylan

So, as my hubby tucks into a weeks worth of training for his job, my little guy and I bide our time back at the hotel.
This morning, sitting in the lobby just long enough to add a hat and coat to Levi's ensemble for battling the nip in the morning air (yes, even in May, and such a task takes longer than you may assume); I watched as many people checked in, some checked out, several mingled, and a few loitered.
Being here with little purpose, but to continue taking care of my son and carry out daily tasks (thankfully minus the housework) gets me thinking about those residents, past and present, who have made a hotel their home.
The Chelsea Hotel in NYC has been home to Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Jackson Pollock & Dylan Thomas, among others.
The notion of hotel living has always been a romantic one and it's no wonder. A constant influx of new and interesting people; each with their stories to tell, or secrets to hide; setting the scene for the storyteller, the incredibly curious and the highly imaginative.
Love, hate, pleasure, passion (both romantic and criminal), camaraderie & loneliness, could there be a more ideal setting for one's mind to wander?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Moms Day!!

10 months and one week ago, I became a Mom. It sounds wild saying it, but it's true! My precious baby boy came into my life in one powerful, and otherwise indescribable moment. Wow, was it ever...
I remember those seconds after when it seemed so quiet, so intense, and desperate...and then FINALLY we heard his tiny cry. I'm still not sure I can totally get a grip on that moment. It seems like it was a dream. I can barely imagine ever a time when he wasn't with us.

From a very young age, we are asked what we are going to be when we grow up, and we are encouraged to make a decision about our education after high school. I flip-flopped for 15 years about what I wanted to do with my life. Being a mother, for me, has been a realization. I understand now that this is what I was meant for. I love every minute, even the difficult ones.

As a woman, being able to give birth is incredible, but more than that - far more than that, I realize that the ability to mother is the gift of all gifts. And certainly, that is not to say that I am a perfect mother, or even a great mother; but I am in love with being a mother, and I would and will do anything for my child, and that is what it is all about.

So, thank you to my mom from the bottom of my heart. I understand your love, and your heartache (sorry), and I appreciate so much how you have given your life to us, your kids. xo

Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful women I know who are, or who will soon be, a Mama!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Thrifting Miracle

Check out this baby!

A sweet $12 score at Goodwill. Clearly I needed another sewing machine...I have discovered 3 besides this new one!
They will all serve a purpose in the very near future I hope. Each one putting in its contribution to my life as a stay-at-home mama.
Anyway, I have given it a whirl and it runs, but I can't seem to figure out how to thread it. I thought I was doing it right but the thread just comes flying back out. Also, it needs a lightbulb. I have heard that Singer machines, even old ones (treadles included- my next dream...) are fairly easy to get parts for. We shall see.

Fingers crossed!

Friday, May 7, 2010


It seems every time we turn around there is another exciting moment where our little one is mastering some new feat. That's the magic of a baby. Watching them become a person, one first experience at a time. Yesterdays special first was Levi joined us on a bike ride. What a great feeling to be out on our bikes watching the greatest perma-smile on earth beam out from under this funny little helmet. He loves his new ibert bike seat. It's a pretty awesome little seat. Jim didn't feel it was in the way of his legs at all, and loved having Levi safely between his arms where he could see him.
I am so looking forward to the next time. I think we'll need to head out again this afternoon!
Time for tea~

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Time to Dive In!

Well sometimes you just have to jump in, both feet. Right?? Even if you have to start tiny. That seems to be my motto right now. I have so many ideas brewing up in my brain that I'm just going to get to it and see what happens. I suppose that was my plan here. I was interested in starting a blog - mainly to gain writing experience and confidence in said writing - but kept putting it off because I couldn't decide on a theme. Why put off to tomorrow what you can do today? So, here I am. I've decided to let the blog decide where it wants to go. I figure once I get in to the groove It'll just be what it is. Probably a mish mash of day to day nothingness...hmmm...a blog about nothing. Hey if Seinfeld can do it?... ;)

Well the monkey beside me is starting to terrorize. Who knew a person who has only known the earth for 10 months, could know how to get into so much mischief!

Janie out

How have I never noticed this beautiful view near my home before??

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And Baby Makes Three!!

Me and my man embarked on a pretty serious journey in 2007, hitting 20 countries in 20 months, arriving back on North American soil with a (surprise!!) bun in the oven. Best souvenir ever I'd say! Needless to say, the travel bug does not cease simply because a third party is in the picture. On the contrary! Now we desire most to show our baby to the world and the world to him. Even as a wee little guy I believe strongly that the experience of travel creates insurmountable learning opportunities, and the interaction with new cultures can only lend to his growth as a strong, social, compassionate being.
That being said, my husband and I are about to head out on our first overseas trip with our baby boy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Relishing in the groovy moments that make life worth living...