All the ramblings in my head

Been feeling a bit itchy lately to delve back into this space. Just read back over some old entries and wasn’t even humiliated by them! Unlike that masterpiece blog I had in college which was mostly vague-post references to unrequited crushes. It is to be hoped that blogger has since taken back that space. Lol

Woosh. It has been one hell of a year. It started out pretty good with a trip to dear friends in HI and the delights of a new relationship…Then my body decided to hate gluten without telling me first. Welcome to Celiac Disease! The results of that put me pretty out of commision for months. I am finally close to back to normal and it is so good. I admit that even as someone who works in healthcare and interacts with sick people every day I had NO IDEA how much an autoimmune disease could affect one’s function. Or how hard it is to get proper medical care/attention even when you have good insurance. I mean, I knew conceptually but this really put a whole new spin on things.

So having weathered that storm with the help of family and the man-friend (who bless him didn’t run when I started having to sleep like all day…and couldn’t even get off my mom’s couch for days on end!) and friends I am so looking forward to finishing this year strong. Funny how I am back to the same sort of “get things GOING” place that I was when I first started this blog 3 years ago. Coming off a slightly different issue but here’s to getting back to doing the things I love to do!

In that vein…I have been on a sewing mission. Finished a cozy knit dress and a knit wrap top (that one needs some modifications) and have several other projects in the wings (next up is a McCall’s faux wrap dress). I am currently basically wanting to wear everything secret pajamas so all about the knits! I finally bought Victory Patterns’ Lola which I have wanted for ages and for some reason denied myself and also bought Paprika Patterns Jasper sweater. Told you: secret pjs ALL THE WAY! (Oh dear…this reminds me I also have to get around to making non-secret pjs…) I have also fallen hard for Closet Case Files’ new Clare coat pattern which is currently on it’s way to my hot little hands. So lots to work on. Hard to stop myself from planning to do all the sewing at once!

I am also diving headlong into beefing up my cooking/baking skills. Now that I can’t do gluten the biggest challenge is bread. Other baked goods are pretty easy for modification but good sandwich bread? Whole other story. THANK GOD I found Gluten Free Girl. Actually she has been such a welcome spot of gluten-free support through her blog and her boooks since I first got diagnosed. I felt like “ohhh…it’s gonna be ok! I am gonna feel better again!” And long story short her sandwich bread is freaking amazing and I finally don’t want to cry while eating my sandwich because the bread is gooey or sandy or some terrible combo of those two things. #celiacproblems Plus it is easy. More a batter than dough which makes the prep way easier and faster. Oh god I love that bread. #breadfangirl

So that’s the stream going on in my head at the moment. I don’t write enough these days; time to change that! Here’s to getting back into the blog and busting these thoughts into the world. More on sewing, crafting, gluten-free-ing, and thinking to come.

Knitcation with Mabel and Moneta

Whew…It’s been a long while. I know, it’s a little shocking even to me that I’m posting!

OK, that’s out of the way. The focus of this post is the contest set up by Colette Patterns around their newest patterns Mabel and Moneta . I can honestly say I LOVE these patterns. Genuinely they are well drafted, simple, involve knit fabric which is always a plus in my book, and have lots of variation possibility. I’ve made 4 Mabels (the skirt) and 3 Monetas (the dress) so I think that says it right there.

Of course when Colette announced they were holding a contest around making a travel wardrobe of Mabels and Monetas I jumped on board! The basic premise is to make 7 days worth of outfits using at least one of each garment and combine with accessories and pictures of the destination to tell your travel story.

I’m going to come right out and say that this project was so much fun! I’ve been sewing up a storm lately and working on making my wardrobe fit my life (Colette’s Wardrobe Architect Project was totally inspiring to me!). Since it turns out that I really love wearing knit dresses and skirts these two patterns fit right into my wardrobe and my life. In fact I am wearing one right now. SO comfy. Feels like pajamas but looks like real clothes.

So, let’s get to the point! For my vacation I am going to Florida. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea specifically. We went several years to visit my grandparents back in college and it is so lovely. Slightly run down timeshare right on the beach, warm water, relaxing days. Oh man, I want to go back even though both my grandparents have since died. It was such a great place to just hang out and relax. Sooo in my fantasy land I am going back!

Here’s a couple establishing landscape pics to help set the scene.


That’s the timeshare hotel (or one nearby. They all looked about like that). RIGHT ON THE BEACH!! Oh man…


The beach. So unlike the Oregon coast where it’s so cold and the water is trying to kill you with sneaker waves and giant logs. In Florida it’s all nice and warm and delightful (I mean, yeah, there are hurricanes but the water itself is gentle!)

Ok one more. This is the view from the balcony.


See?! I wanna go back! Oops, that may be someone’s arm in the side of the picture. I hadn’t noticed that before!

OK, now here are the outfits! I really enjoyed playing dress up and was surprised at how many outfits I could make from those 4 skirts and 3 dresses! And major thanks to my mom who helped take the pictures. Well, first here’s some nice packing for the trip shots! Love me some vintage suitcases!



I mean, who doesn’t want to carry all that awesome luggage?!

Day 1: Airplane outfit! A little more coverage for those chilly airplanes/ports but the flexibility for taking off layers if needed.


Day 2 Walking around Lauderdale, a little shopping time at those tacky tourist boutiques! Comfy and breathable but still classy and doesn’t involve a bikini printed on your shirt.


Day 3 A little walking, Floral Sorbetto with a light cardigan for the air conditioned restaraunts.


Day 4 Maxi Moneta! This is one of my favorites! Long and comfy but pulled together. Good for walking along the shore (holding the ends up) or strolling to get some food. Because I eat on vacation. Alot.


Day 5 Um, duh, Swimsuit time! Perfect paired with a Mabel! Let’s go sit by the pool. And then go to the beach. And then sit in a hammock! (Ok, this is actually every day!)


Oh, and then put on a shirt and shoes to go grab some food!


Day 6 For daytime walking around and perhaps some more shopping/eating.


And night-time grabbing a mojito (or 2! It’s vacation!) at the beachside bar.



Day 7 Making the most of the last day…A nice cotton Sorbetto with a Mabel. (Hello! Look how good that makes my butt look! That is another great thing about Mabel. She’s a curve-hugger.)





So there you have it! My awesome fantasy vacation full of comfy knits!



New Year, New Resolve!

As the delinquent blogger (huh, maybe I should coin that!) I am determined to do better this year! At least once a week seems reasonable, for heaven’s sake. So here’s to that!

I have great hopes and plans for 2013. I turn 30 in 3 days so I feel that entitles me to make big plans, right? I am looking forward to finally being out of my 20s and being able to focus on the next phase of my life. One where  I can build myself in my career, focus on hobbies, save toward whatever (travel? house?), and just enjoy being.

My 20s were rather defined by change, lots of change. Some was better (school, starting a new job, meeting people). Lots of it was more in the worse vein (lots of housing loss and instability, finances, family stuff). At this point my housing is stable, I have an actual job in my chosen career (for which I am very grateful even if I whine about it sometimes), and I can work toward changes I WANT to make which is  serious blessing.

So this year’s goals?

1) Actually DO projects I plan. I am really bad at this…

2) Sew more! This also sort of falls under 1 but I feel it’s important enough to warrant its own point. I am working on my Tiramisu dress right now!

3) Organize. This is a big category, I know. But it is a huge issue for me. I love organization and systems I just don’t always use them. In particular I need to organize my papers. I’m thinking file cabinet is probably the way to go!

4) House Refresh. It’s been a little over 2 years since I moved into my own place and it’s time to just tweak things a bit and get things changed a little!

5) Plan a trip to New Zealand. This is a big one. I know it will take me time to save and plan but I really, really want to make this happen! I am really drawn to the place and it’s time for travel.

Happy 2013!

Working On…

Highlights of the last couple months:

Starting up an etsy store with my mom. Yes, that’s right. We finally took the plunge. Now we just need some sales. ; ) It was overload production for a couple weeks there and now we need to keep the momentum going to make some updates and improve our products and site overall. It’s been pretty fun to get this going! We’ve got a blog started in connection with the etsy store but it’s still a work in progress. Yesterday I roughed up a weekly schedule for us so hopefully that’ll help keep us on track a little better. If you are curious, we’re at (whaaat! I just finally figured out how to activate links. Oh dear me, I know, I know!)

Attending the Oregon Occupational Therapy Association Conference: Honestly, it was a good one this year! I won’t bore you all with details of our sessions but it was so great to connect with other OTs and gather all sorts of useful info. We also had a great keynote (Donna Beegle ) who talked about poverty and the culture thereof which was really interesting. She runs all kinds of workshops and conferences as well as just doing speaking engagements about poverty. If nothing else she makes you think about how much this issue affects the nation and how we need to do something about it!

Goals for the next month or so:

1) Complete 2 dress patterns. One is a Vintage Vogue fancy evening dress pattern that’s been in the works for a while. Aka I cut out the muslin mockup pieces, sewed like 2 of them together and didn’t finish. I have some lovely wedgewood blue crepe-back satin to use and am determined to get it sewn together!

The other is from Cake Patterns and is also pretty sweet. Tiramisu Dress from Cake Patterns- Multi-Size 30"-50" high bust, 25"-50" waist

She also blogs over at  Much more faithfully than do I! I am really excited to try this pattern out! 
I don’t have fabric for that yet but am thinking about my options. What, an excuse to buy fabric? Oh, ok!

2) Keep my banana plant alive. Seriously. I moved it inside because it got cold but it is not looking so hot. Like the leaves keep getting all dry. I’ve been watering it! Maybe it needs a bigger pot? Maybe it needs a blanket? I don’t know. Any tips? Admittedly a banana plant wasn’t my best choice living in the NW but I was so taken with it’s lovely, dramatic leaves this summer! Does anyone have experience with this dilema?

3) Actually do some of the many projects laying around. Craft things, re-covering a chair I bought, hemming some pants.

4) Going to NYC! Family trip to visit my sisters. I have never been so I am excited/slightly nervous. This is the uber-small budget variety of trip so we are trying to carefully plan. Any tips on cheap/free places we should go? (We will be there in early December. So indoor activity would be best.) This week also holds promise of a shopping trip. Because apparently my scrubs and jeans/tshirts are really not good enough for December in NYC. ; ) (Kidding; I don’t wear scrubs outside work. Sweatpants, maybe sometimes. But only in my apartment!)

I cannot even believe it is almost Thanksgiving already! This year seems to have flown by. I have to say it has actually been a pretty good one. I am awfully thankful for many things….But that’s for another post.

Balance and musings thereon

That’s a word that’s thrown around so often, isn’t it? Balance…This elusive notion that we can (and should!) have a perfect mix of work and play, of activity and rest, of home and bigger world. Our culture is obsessed with it but doesn’t really nurture much the rest part. Unless you happen to have a lot of money in which case perhaps you can go on long, exotic vacations. (I’m not saying that’s completely true; just the message we often get!)

I’ve been trying to make balance. That’s part of the whole point of said blog (poor, neglected dear that it is) is to document the challenges and the successes of that project. I’ve made some choices to enhance my level of balance (like working 4 days vs 5) but of course there’s always a trade-off (like getting paid for 4 days vs 5!) and sometimes it feels like I never have enough time and money together. Of course, that’s a common complaint, right? Does anyone ever have both?

Seems it’s awfully hard to feel like we have enough in this world, especially considering all the economic mess around us. There’s been a noted resurgence to making do, and craft, and natural approaches which I find comforting since that’s how I grew up. But there’s still that cultural push to have and buy and move yourself up which sometimes seems to drown out the voice of reason telling me that I do have enough. Sometimes the draw of new, shiny, ready-made is stronger than the slightly delayed gratification of making from scratch or making do with what I already have.

But then I do make something or fix something I already have and I remember why I love it. I’m happiest when I am creating whether writing or crafting or sewing. It reminds me to take a step back and take a deep breath. I have to remind myself that I have a say in how I spend my time. Writing it down makes it seem silly…especially since I don’t have kids or pets or anything. But seriously, how many times do we feel ‘guilt’ or ‘pressure’ to stop doing something enjoyable and be more ‘productive’?

I say stop a minute and take a deep breath! Schedule some time to do something enjoyable into your week! (Each day would be better but I know that’s hard sometimes.) Maybe if it’s on the calendar we’ll do it!

4.5 mo…

Til I turn 30. My goal for this year was/is to pull myself together and participate in life again. To do things I enjoy and become a happier, more contented person.

So far I’m doing a decent job of it! I’ve been getting out there, doing stuff, making stuff, meeting people, etc, etc.

It hit me the other day that I’m only 4.5 months away from turning 30. Now, this is exciting (weird yes, like back a million years ago when I turned 20 and was no longer a teenager) and I’m ready to move onto this next decade. But also the end of an era…and a time for reckoning with myself, I suppose.

I do have a question, though. What should I do before I turn 3-0? Those of you who have made the milestone already surely have some words of wisdom? And everyone can at least give some good ideas! I’m curious as well as sort of wanting a challenge. Admittedly travel is gonna be a challenge but day trips and/or short vacations could be possible (like 2-3 days bc I don’t really have much vacation chance for the rest of this year). So places to go? Things to do? Philosophical stands to take?

In the meantime I will be thinking of my own list so maybe I can work that into the blog, too. All suggestions are welcome. They’ll at least be food for thought even if I don’t make them all happen!


Garden Update

Trying not to be super irritated that I already wrote this blog and then it was eaten by the ether…

Anyway, I have been totally delinquent in updating this blog but I’m trying to re-dedicate myself to regular updates. Those of you who have blogs: how do you keep them up? Do you have a schedule? Or is it more relaxed just whenever you feel like updating?

Back at the farm…well, ok, Mom’s backyard…we’ve been growing! Tomatoes, kale, tomatillos, pumpkin, beans! It’s been so much fun watching all those plants sprout and grow. A few of the tomatoes were from starters but most of th plants we grew from seed (as mentioned in previous blogs) and so it’s been especially satisfying. There is just something amazing about the whole process. I know, I’m gushing but I can’t help it!

Garden! This was a little while back. It’s much bigger now.
These were the first 2 ripe tomatoes! Mmmm


And my patio/balcony has been re-vamped with plants, as well. I don’t have any veggies out there but I do have flowers and greenery. Including a banana plant which is pretty sweet. They’ve had some ups and downs but things are looking pretty decent right about now. Two battles with aphids but I think I’ve beaten them. And the one fuschia did NOT like the hot weather so it’s looking a bit sad. But the two ferns that I thought had given up completely are coming back with new, strong, green leaves!

Banana, hosta, begonia…I also put some globe string lights up around the door, hence the mood lighting.
A few of the plants on the balcony: some marigolds, creeping jenny, fuchsia

Pretty pleased with how it’s all looking! I had hoped to find some patio furniture (just a chair, pretty much) but that hasn’t happened so maybe next year…In the meantime I’m enjoying the view of my plants. Just makes it seem a bit more like home and more inviting, I think.

Has anyone else been bitten by the gardening bug this year? What are you growing?

Reclaiming: Retreat Style

For me, part of reclaiming myself and my life is to reconnect with me. Since I spend most of my time talking to people and focusing on other people the introvert in me needs some serious downtime every now and again. Since I finally had some vacation days this last week I decided to gift myself a stay away. I didn’t really feel like going far away but I found that the Oregon Garden which is only like an hour away has a hotel attached to it with a spa. Uh, yes, please! I admit it. I am a total girly-girl when it comes to spa treatments. Needless to say I scheduled an afternoon at the spa. Which was amazing. And my massage therapist reinforced that I really, really needed to relax when she said, “Woah, you are really tight”.

I had never gone away by myself before (I mean, I’ve travelled places alone but always to go stay with friends or travel with friends) so it was a whole new experience. I admit I was a bit nervous about how to fill the time. I mean, I am really good at just hanging out but it’s different when you’re away from home.
In doing the planning my mom gave me some books to read (I tell ya, the woman has a book for everything) to help guide my experience. One of them, “The Woman’s Retreat Book” is especially geared toward retreat planning so it was pretty helpful ( She has lots of ideas about how to re-connect with yourself and nurture yourself even if all you have is 5 minutes. She reinforced the need to bring things to do whether books, journals, or art supplies to make sure you have things to occupy your time.

I did lots of reading, writing, reflecting (ok, maybe some tarot card reading…it’s helpful for triggering reflection topics), and walking. The gardens are really beautiful and defintely reinforced that I need to get outside more often!

That’s the view from the top of the hill by the hotel. One of the clear moments; it was cold and drizzly/raining most of the time I was there (go figure. Oregon).

My goals/intentions for the weekend were:

No TV: Check. (for the record, I did bring my computer with intention of working on the blog. However, the internet was terrible so I never could connect after the first 10 minutes. I decided that was really fine)

Read: Check (very engaging mystery novel and also some more reflection/discovery type books)

Relax: Check! (spa, lounging, sleeping, walking around)

Enjoy nature: Check. (Even if it was cold and all those summer dresses went unworn I still got outside quite a bit)

Take pictures: Check! Hello, garden=photo opportunity

Reflect/do some ‘inner work’ type stuff, listen to myself a bit: Check. I did lots of this and came away feeling ready to take some things on.

All in all, I would say it was a very successful trip! My only complaint was that the food was, in a word, crappy. Seriously, bland and sad. Like buffet breakfast of mass-eggs and cardboard waffles. Honestly I was pretty disappointed. But, I didn’t starve and I did still have a good time. Next time I’d bring more snacks and maybe go into town for a meal (though I didn’t really want to leave to eat).

So, here are some pictures. Even if you only have a minute maybe these will bring a little retreat into your day!

Bathroom Garden! I thought this was pretty funny…What can I say, I’m a plummer’s daughter.

View from my little patio

Crane I thought was real til I took the picture and looked closer…

Zipping! (And apologies for neglecting the project blog)

Ah, dear. It has been an embarrassingly long time since I posted in here. I think I shall make a schedule to keep myself more on track.

But, I have been doing things in my absence! And this week I am on vacation (one of the best words in the English language) so I can catch up a bit. Also, have unearthed my camera fire-wire so pictures will be making an appearance as well.

To start my vacation I went out to an adventure park out in Gaston, OR, called Tree to Tree Adventure ( I went with a group of friends and it was really fun! Basically, it’s an aerial obstacle course and zipline park. I had read about this before but never been so when the Badgers (yes, we do call ourselves that) proposed an adventure out there I jumped on board. (For more about the Badgers…… It’s pretty sweet).

After driving twisty country roads, having to detour around a police barricade (heard later it was an overturned fertilizer truck), and quite a bit of gravel, I arrived all in one piece and ready to zip. It turns out that there are  a LOT of the aerial obstacle courses mixed with ziplining. Apparently you can do just zipping (which I would like to check out some time) but we were in the course section.

So, we strapped on helmets and harnesses, and after a brief instruction got onto the course to practice. There is quite a bit of clipping and unclipping on the ropes and lines so it does take a little getting used to but once you’ve got the hang of it it’s really pretty simple. Then you can climb, walk across bridges and ropes, and zipline through the trees. I LOVE ziplining! It was so much fun to just sail through the air! I have to admit, the obstacle course parts were not so much my thing. They move alot, are small items (like wood slats and zipline wires) and while logically I totally know that I am harnessed, hooked, and in no danger of falling, it totally freaked me out. I found myself clinging for dear life and with my heart in my mouth.

Needless to say the group of middle school kids behind us totally zipped (pun intended) past me but I still enjoyed myself. I pushed through and made it through the first 2 courses. Then my legs kinda gave out and I decided it was best to call it a day.

I don’t have pictures because, well, I was definitely not able to handle a camera along with the lines but trust me it was really pretty in the trees. And the weather was gorgeous unlike the next several days so I was grateful for that.

Nothing like hurtling yourself out of a tree and across a forest to boost your confidence in your skills!


My kitchen got a little bit prettier and a little bit more functional this last week.

See, after moving out on my own last year I suddenly realized how great a mixer is. Like, making cookies in a bowl with a wooden spoon is a giant pain. I remember my mom making cookies when I was a kid and almost always refrigerating the dough before we made them. I hadn’t ever thought about this but after making them myself a couple times with just a spoon it dawned on me it was because to get the butter soft enough to cream with sugar it was then too soft to make a non-spready cookie!

She had an old school Sunbeam mixer for a while (which was quite respectable, don’t get me wrong) but then found a Kitchen Aid stand mixer at a garage sale for like $100 (I think when I was in college already). And so for years I have been using her Kitchen Aid. Then I moved out and damn if she wasn’t about to let me take the mixer! I know (I do have several pieces of her old furniture, though, so I suppose it’s reasonable).

I finally decided that I was going to buy myself one. Did a little research, found the cheapest price (Kitchen Kaboodle!), and bought myself a lovely mixer. I was amazed at the array of colors available! Being a bit of a vintage stuff junky I was totally taken by the mint green. I decided it’s not only cute but subtle enough that I won’t get tired of it in 10 minutes. My mom dubbed it “international harvester green” after a truck she and my dad had when they were first together. Apparently it was a minty green.

After quite a bit of work I finally got a pic in here (camera cord still MIA). Tried to do pinterest but it just copied the code and then was a jumble of words vs an image. Not really what I was going for. SO, thanks to google image and whimsigirl.blogspot I found an image.

And, in the grand tradition of my family, I have named her Bertha. Because that is what we always name appliances, trucks, etc. My dad’s plumbing vans were always Bertha, my mom’s kid/hay bale/pallet-carrying vans were always Bertha, and since my new mixer is indeed, a workhorse, I think she should be as well.

I haven’t actually made anything yet as I’ve been too tired this week after work and then today it’s too hot to bake but soon, Bertha, soon…