The Unexpected Gift

Yesterday my husband came from work with a Christmas present from one of his work colleagues. His colleague is a crafty lady, in that she likes to make homemade gifts such as wreaths, decorations and those wooden signs with quotes. When he opened the sparkly gift bag we found two decorated Christmas jars (picture included) which are now sitting up on our mantle next to baby Jesus.

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The same lovely lady had given us a house warming present only a few weeks earlier therefore it was necessary for us to return the gesture. We looked at each other blankly as it was too late to pop out to the shops and my husband normally starts his day at 6am, so the only option to provide a gift for the following day was to find something in the house. Now i know that no one reading this would dare think about re-gifting or potentially wrapping up something they’ve had for years as gift, it’s just our despicable behavior 😉 We wondered around the house looking for a gift idea but came up with nothing until i ventured into the spare room where i keep my sewing supplies. It occurred to me that a few weeks prior i had purchased a bag full of fabric cutoffs for only $10.

Frantically, i hunted for the bag and started to rifle through to find any suitable material that i could use as a potential gift. Thankfully, i came across some cream cotton, a beige shimmery fabric and a lovely piece of lace that had a gold sheen. I instantly thought of making an infinity scarf as i had seen numerous pins showing how simple they are to make and at once i reached for the scissors and set to work.

Now, for the experienced sewing masters reading this, I know an infinity scarf is incredibly simple and requires very little skill but this was still my first attempt at making one and i had the added pressure of it being a gift. I didn’t want to hand over an inadequate piece of rubbish to the kind lady that had taken the time to make us a unique gift, therefore i took added care with my measurements and stitching until I finished the pictured scarf. It took around an hour to make including cutting the material but once i had finished, i was rather impressed with my work. The plain cream cotton compliments the lace and gold highlights perfectly and i was almost tempted to keep it for myself.

When i returned to the living room brandishing the scarf in one hand and my pride in the other my husband glanced over it and said, “What is it?” I provided a quick demonstration of how to wear an infinity scarf, as he is not fashionably inclined and he validated my efforts with, “it will do.” Men are from Mars, i know but sometimes it would be nice if they spoke Venusian! Processed with Rookie Cam

Anyway, here is my attempt with my first infinity scarf and i hope the poor lady that receives it knows it was either this or a box of bathroom smelly stuff I’ve had since last Christmas! If anyone would like to try making their own scarf there are numerous guides on Pinterest but i have linked one below for convenience.

Have a great Christmas everyone and remember, it’s the thought that counts!!

How to sew an infinity scarf - Make an infinity scarf in just 3 steps! Perfect for a gifts or group craft projects - Melly Sews:

How to Make an Infinity Scarf – in Just 3 Steps

 

 

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9 Months Later

It’s been nine months since the arrival of my little honey-bun and what a whirlwind it has been. There have been many tears, giggles, and dirty diapers but every second (except the birth) has been a Godsend. I look down at my little bundle of joy as she plays happily with my shoe and wonder how I ever existed without her and at the same time I would give anything to sleep in!

When you become a parent you start to understand the full meaning of being sleep deprived and how you can endlessly prod your partner saying, “It’s your turn.” For me, I found the first few weeks the hardest as she only slept in three-hour intervals which inevitably meant that I didn’t sleep longer than two hours at a time. We took turns while my husband was off work so that we could try and stretch it out to three or four hours but that only lasted until he returned to the day job. I remember a close friend came over and offered to babysit so that we could go out but instead we headed straight to the bedroom to sleep. We curled up under the covers, wrapped our arms around each other and I immediately burst into tears from sheer exhaustion.

My husband stared at me blankly while my hormonal overload manifested as a water filled meltdown, sobbing that we didn’t snuggle anymore. The poor man just wanted to sleep but instead, he had to comfort his unstable wife. After my emotional outpouring, I snuck out of bed and jumped in the shower which felt like pure luxury. Every T-shirt I owned was covered in baby vomit, I didn’t know when I had last washed my hair and any opportunity to wash normally involved having the baby nearby in her rocker; so having an actual chunk of personal time to shower felt like being at a spa.

After a few weeks, things started to settle down and her sleeping pattern greatly improved but I still remember a salesman telling me that his wife was expecting their second child and all I did was glare at him and say “Why?” I couldn’t understand through my sleep tortured daze why anyone would have more than one child. Obviously, now that my little girl sleeps through the night and I can function like a human again, I understand the impulses to reproduce but I certainly have a newfound respect for people with twins or multiple children.

Now that nine months have flown by, I still get surprised when I catch myself beaming with pride because my honey-bun has learned to crawl, clap or stand. Never before have I admired any child’s ability to perform basic bodily functions but when my own child laughs, rolls or farts, I find it entertaining beyond measure. The simple joys in life really are childlike and even though there have been times of struggle, I would not have traded a single moment with my daughter for an extra hours sleep. (I might alter this last statement if a second baby comes along!)

Blackout

Yesterday we had an unexpected downfall of snow. The weather man predicted some light flurries which turned into a full blown blizzard dumping buckets of snow and keeping us trapped inside for most of the day. Granted, at this time of the year every one is hoping for a white Christmas and the picturesque white covering that sugars the trees adds a cold beauty that is needed during this dark season.

The full day passed uneventfully until the power went out at 7pm, leaving us in darkness. A various array of scented candles were lit and the drawers were searched for our torch lights until an amber cinnamon laced glow filled the recreational room where our wood stove is located. Eager to fire-up the stove, my husband secured our source of heat and we sat happily playing cards for the first hour or so until we raided the fridge and munched on leftover party treats.

A few hours passed with us becoming more surprised that the power was not back on but we still enjoyed our unexpected quiet time. Our wifi was down and obviously the TV was off so we curled up in front of the laptop and watched one of the few movies we had on our old computer, Speed. We giggled our way through Keanu Reeves’ bad acting and then headed to bed. The house had considerably cooled even with the wood stove burning away in the basement so we all curled up together under the blankets and drifted off to sleep. My honey-bun normally sleeps fine in her own crib, but tucked up next to me she rolled around and endlessly slapped me in the face. At one point she had fallen asleep, mouth open on top of my husbands cheek.

In the morning, after a very sleepless night, I was surprised to find a message from my neighbor across the road inviting us to wait out the power cut at their house. We had never met this neighbor before but somehow they had been able to find us on Facebook and offer their help as they still had power. I was truly touched to think that relative strangers had gone to such a length to find and help a family they didn’t even know.

All in all, we had a lovely romantic evening snuggling in the candlelight and enjoying some much needed down time. We now have befriended our neighbors and extended our gratitude for their kind offer and hope that the next time we have a storm we might be able to return the favor.

The Sewing Bug

Teddy hamper for my honey-bun.

A photo posted by Yummy Mummy (@yummy_mummy.blog) on

 

I recently purchased a sewing machine in a burst of optimism and daydreamed that i would become the nun from ‘The Sound of Music,’ happily singing away while making my little honey-bun dresses from old curtains. At this point I would normally say that the bubble burst with my husband saying, “I told you so.” However, to my great surprise and delight I have taken to sewing like a wobbly child on their first bike! I may still have the stabilizers on, but I’m still enjoying the ride.

After unpacking the machine with it’s bobbins, needles and other parts that I’m pretending i haven’t seen; I eventually sat down and watched the DVD of instructions. Normally I would leave the DVD in the box, quickly scan the instruction manual for useful pictures and then launch into my new found hobby, but sewing machines are not that simple. I quickly became daunted by the levers and bobbins, realizing that i had seriously underestimated the skill involved with navigating the various uses for a sewing machine. These things don’t just sow in lines, there are zig-zags, levers for fabric tension and feet for needles; who knew?

After deciding that i would make a cover for my machine, I made my first mistake by taking a trip to my local Fabricville. To my virgin eyes, the mysterious land of fabric became a treasure trove of fine silks, Italian wool’s and irresistible baby motifs which left me seriously in the red with my pocketbook and my husband! I declared that i would master my sewing machine and become the household of handmade clothes, bags, scarfs, tea-cozy’s and anything else i could make with my hands. I jumped in, feet first and ended up with a wonky machine cover, a slightly bent mermaids tail blanket and the toy hamper in the picture above. (The toy hamper was by far the easiest to make, hence the picture.)

Although my first few attempts have not been entirely successful, I have still decided to march on and struggle through this steep learning curve. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel where there are perfectly hemmed bags with zippers that don’t fall off. Wish me luck!

Say Cheese!

T’is the season for the inevitable family Christmas photo, whether you opt for an all inclusive family shoot or just one cute child on the front of your Christmas card, it always brings out the smiles, groans and cries of everyone involved.

This year we decided to go big and use the opportunity to get a family photo shoot taken by a professional photographer in her private studio. Having had a bad experience with our wedding photos, we decided that we would take the time to do some extra research and hunt down a professional with glowing reviews. We found a lady not to far from home and her portfolio showed the usual happy squidgy babies wrapped in soft linens and lying peacefully asleep without a diaper in sight. The aim for us was to get a great family picture so that we could get a large canvas print made for the dining room, therefore we didn’t want anything that was obviously just for Christmas as we needed it to look good all year round. Thankfully, when we arrived at the studio our photographer had laid out several versatile outfits for our little one which mainly consisted of a plain white dress and soft textured blankets which meant that we could use the included picture as a Christmas card.

For the first couple of pictures our little one smiled happily until boredom hit in and then we all pranced around like buffoons to keep the giggles rolling. Outfit changes added needed distractions and the occasional chew toy provided helpful moments of peace while we put on our happy faces for the camera.

After only two weeks, we had our digital copies from the photographer which looked amazing. We had paid a considerable amount for our 40 minute shoot which we thought was a reasonable price for a professional set-up, however when a friend inquired as to the cost, she looked at me as though i had lost my mind. They had gone for a Christmas shoot at Costco, which is very reasonably priced and she was perfectly happy with her pictures. However, we wanted something that would be the pride and joy of our living space for years to come, so for me, it was worth the extra pennies.

Once I had the pictures, I jumped on Vistaprint and got the cutest cards made up which had falling snowflakes all around my little honey-bun. Her gummy little smile in the cotton vest and cap couldn’t be more adorable and I was beyond proud at her precious chubby face. On the back of the cards we printed our family photo so that relatives and friends had an updated image which they could use in picture frames. The site also gives you the option to add a yearly summary of family activities which I know many people do at this time of year.

All in all, our quick photo session was stress free and extremely fruitful. It was perhaps, a little pricey but i know we have images that I will cherish forever. Feel free to share your cute Christmas pictures and any funny anecdotes that you might have from your own family shoot!