Wednesday, October 26

Pics from Colin

I uploaded a few pics from Colin's camera the other day and found these, from our San Juan Capistrano day a while back. The day we took the baby announcement pic!

Saturday, October 22

A Reupholstered Ottoman!

I have what feels like a million projects going right now, all in various stages of completion. Usually I like to get things finished, so I'm not sure what's gotten into me. So, it feels really nice to have this project done. Once I got everything I needed, I got it finished in an afternoon.

This is the original ottoman, from the '60s (it has a stamp on the bottom), halfway deconstructed. The big tear in the top is the why it needed new upholstery. It wasn't comfy anymore either since the cushion had disintegrated.

We got the foam at Joann's. It was precut to this size, which I thought was too big, but I ended up stapling it around the edges which changed the original shape. I almost cut it to perfect size, but realized later that probably wouldn't have worked, so I'm really glad I got it a little big!

I stapled the top cover on.

And I made my own matching cording to go around the edge for a more finished look.

I sewed the cording to the top of the bottom piece. (I made the bottom piece by sewing the four side pieces together.)

Then stapled the underside of the bottom piece. I ended up having to put a little glue under the top to get it to stay flat when I was finished.

I stapled all the parts that could be hidden.

And I finished off with the tacks from the old upholstery. I also added a little glue to make sure the corners stayed down because I didn't really leave enough fabric at the end.

Done! It's much more comfortable, I love the color, and there's not a huge tear in the top. Yay!
Next I may need to reupholster that chair, but I really love the fabric currently on it. It needs a new cushion and the fabric is not in very good shape.

Monday, October 17

Weekend Love

This weekend we ate leftovers, watched The Informant, went to an hors d'oeuvres party (yum!), started the process to recover an ottoman from Goodwill (that we've had for a year), attended (via Skype) the naming ceremony of Colin's brother's baby in Finland, went to our second Vineyard basics course at church, had lunch with new friends, went to a sale at a thrift store and got 21 pieces of clothing for $21.55 (including some tiny clothes for our little pumpkin, clothes to fit my growing belly, and a brand new winter coat for Colin!), started our hypnobabies class, and (despite not cooking a meal besides breakfast all weekend) only ate out once! A great weekend!

Friday, October 14

Apple Tart

Colin made dinner on Monday, so I made an apple tart! I've been craving apple pie for the past few weeks, so I decided it was time to do something about that.

I was inspired by this recipe (their picture is much more beautiful!), but made an almond flour crust from Nourishing Traditions cookbook so Colin could eat it. The almond crust went really well with it.

For the crust:

1 cup almonds (I used mostly plain, but added a few salted), ground into flour

3/4 cup arrowroot or bulgur flour

3/8 cup butter or coconut oil

1/4 cup rapadura (I used sucanat)

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

5 to 6 apples (I used granny smith and didn't peel them, just cored and sliced thinly)
2 large eggs, beaten with a fork

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup sucanat (the recipe called for sugar and honey, but I reduced it to this)

Zest of 1 lime finely grated

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Mix crust ingredients together and press into buttered and floured pie pan.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, lime zest and coconut milk. Arrange the slices of apple on top of the crust and add the egg batter.Bake the tart for 30 minutes, or until the crust is light brown, and the flan is set. Leave to cool for 30 minutes before eating.

Thursday, October 13

A Few Book Reviews

I love the library. Most of the books that we want we can get through one of the branches of the Orange County library. We put them on hold and then pick them up at the one closest to us. It's great. We've added a few that we want to keep as reference to our Amazon baby registry. Lately, I've read these:

The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff
This book is interesting. Liedloff uses observations from living among a jungle tribe to make the case for holding our babies almost constantly from birth to 6-8 months. She basically blames many of our society's problems on not being held "in-arms" enough as an infant. I'm glad I read it, because it gives me needed perspective, but I think some balance is necessary. We'll have to see how this plays out when our baby comes!

Montessori From the Start by Lillard and Jessen
This is an interesting book to balance with. Montessori believed in raising our kids to be independent, even from infancy. So, this book presents the Montessori views that babies need to have opportunities to learn at their level from birth. This includes a bed on the floor so that they have increased access to movement, very specific and organized learning opportunities, and much more. I don't want to be a Montessori nazi, but I'm definitely putting many of these ideas into practice.

Your Best Birth by Lake, Epstein, and Morris
I'm sure there are many natural birth books out there. This is just one I ran across. A great intro. The correlating movie is on netflix, too.

Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck
I found this book through her first book. This book talks about the fertility diet, the best things to eat while pregnant, and the best things to feed your baby. I am now taking cod liver oil (!), eating real salt , eating more fish (especially wild salmon) and meat, plus many other little changes as a result of this book.

Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes
After reading Real Food and the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook, plus Colin reading up on the GAPS diet, we wanted to do a little more research on this way of eating. Basically, we wanted to know if eating a whole lot of eggs, fatty meat, butter, etc. was really good for us. All of the books we read had stats to back them up, but we were still feeling a little unsure. Then Colin heard Gary Taubes on the radio, so we got this book from the library. He shows that the research has never proven that what makes us lose weight is burning more calories than we take in. Crazy, right? All that matters is that we eat less carbohydrates - especially sugar and refined carbs. He makes the point, though, that some people may have to stop eating fruit and whole grains as well. This book really blew me away. The research shows that fat isn't what makes us fat (and it doesn't give us heart problems either). It's carbs that do all that bad stuff.

Mystically Wired by Ken Wilson
Most of what I've been reading is on healthy diet and baby related stuff, so this book has been a breath of fresh air. If you want to breathe some new life into your prayer time, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, October 5

Mission San Juan Capistrano

We went to the mission at San Juan Capistrano a few weeks ago - back when it still felt like summer!

It was really beautiful and helped me understand a little more of California's history. It was just a short drive south, but so good to go out of the way of our usual path!