Tuesday, January 31, 2012

sewing project - nursing cover

I've been working really hard on keeping to my 2012 goals. One of them is to have one sewing project each month. Last week I realized I was running out of time so I picked a project that I could do in one or two days.
Ever since before Avery was born I intended to make me a nursing cover, but when someone gave me one I had an excuse not to get around to it. Since that nursing cover has since been worn out I thought it was time I made one . Below are the materials I used to make two. As always I picked fabric I already own to lower costs. I got both from my grandma. If you don't know what a nursing cover is this sort of shows you.
- 36" by 30" fabric
- 8" by 3" fabric
- 30" by 3" fabric
- set of "D" rings
- 15" boning
- interfacing

Before I go on I wanted to show you the sorry state of the nursing cover I used with Avery. As you see, it's in poor condition. A friend made it and I used it as a reference point with the ones I made since I didn't use a pattern. I also made a little improvement in using interfacing on the strips of fabric that go around the neck to make them more sturdy and to prevent excessive wrinkling after the first wash.
Iron on the interfacing to the two smaller peices of fabric. This will become the neck part. Make sure you have the interfacing the right way around.
Center the boning on the longer side of the big piece of fabric, fold seam inside and secure with pins before sewing. I found this the trickiest part to sew because the boning is curved. Just take your time sewing so it doesn't look sloppy.
After sewing in boning add a few stitched on both sides in the opposite direction to prevent the boning from sliding.
Take your two smaller pieces of fabric and sew the seams inside like below. If necessary pin first. Make sure the ending result is the same size as the width of your "D" rings. I sewed mine to one inch, the size of my "D" rings.
Attach long strips to the big piece of fabric at both ends of the boning. Sew both "D" rings to the smaller side.
Here's a close up of how I sewed it on.
All you have left to do is to hem the other three sides of the big rectangle and iron. Ironing is important because it gives your sewing project a finished, even professional appearance.
And there you have it!
If you have any questions feel free to comment below.
Considering it only cost me an hour to make and and a few dollars of supplies, this was a good investment of my time and money. They normally sell for $20-$30+ dollars. I think I might make some more as baby shower gifts.

Monday, January 30, 2012

book review: Crossed

I read a few mixed reviews about Crossed, sequel to Matched, and had low expectations going in. The summary intrigued me and I ended up enjoying this book better then the first one. The plot moved along a little bit faster and there are a few interesting characters introduced. A lot about this book is finding out more about the characters in it. There past, what they're thinking. A different thing about this book that I really liked when I got used it is that the chapters go back and forth between Ky's point of view as well as Cassia's. It's another fast read. The ending has me all excited to read the next book, released in November. I have high hopes that it'll be better than this one! I also wonder, who's point of view will the third book be? Cassia's only? Cassia's and Xander?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

So proud he's mine

I married a guy who is always learning and growing. I love that about him. He's not happy with just settling for the great life he was given, he wants more, and not in a selfish way. I would be worried if Andrew didn't have any long-term or short-term goals. He really makes me want to work harder to be a better person too.

Andrew is not a runner but he made a goal to run, not walk, the 10k Turkey Trot, and do it in under an hour. He's also doing the Warrior Dash in April (wish I was too!). Since he graduates from Colorado State University in May I've been thinking of what would be a good graduation gift to get him. He deserves something great so I decided to gift him with some Vibram Treksport shoes.
I gifted them early because they take a long time to train in order to not damage your feet. Andrew has sensitive feet and his latest pair of running shoes were just not working for him. Vibram shoes have a great reputation so I hoped they would be better for him. If you're wondering how he likes them you can read more at Hunting for the Running High, a blog Andrew just started to document his running experiences. He's been learning about how nice toe socks feel and the difficulties of juggling an active lifestyle with school and work. I love supporting him in his endeavors. Now we both can't wait until he graduates but a lot will happen between now and then, like a baby . . .

Thursday, January 26, 2012

book review: Matched

If you remember, one of my goals for this year is to find 5 good reads. I really love to read so finding 5 new books shouldn't be a problem. I'll try to make a habit about writing a short review about the books I read. Technically I read this book last year. I took it on the plane to England and finished it while jet lagged the next night.
Matched starts out feeling a little bit like Hunger Games since it's set in the future and there's a love triangle. It is not, however, an action book. I found it a quick read with a somewhat slow plot. I felt like Matched was still setting up the story half way through the book, and the end was rather anti-climatic. In truth, it's just setting you up for book two, Crossed. I just started Crossed and so far so good. I hope it picks up a little bit more than the first book but overall I really enjoyed Matched and love that it's clean (no language, sex references, etc.) so I would definitely recommend it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

westwood, bridge, and foreshore

The last couple days we spent in England were dedicated to spending time with family and visiting local places that have sentimental meaning to us. Beverly Westwood, a beautiful open field and walking area in Beverly, was at the top of my list. This is a special place to me because it's where Andrew proposed to me on on New Year's Eve 7 years ago. He picked that locations for a couple different reasons. One of them is it's name. I went to Westwood High School and he knew how much I loved it there. When he proposed it was all wet and muddy (see above picture) so he was unable to do it on one knee as is tradition, but it is still a great memory for both of us.
Next up was the Humber Bridge. When coming to Hull from out of town the Humber Bridge is the first thing you see on the motorway. It lets you know you're in Hull. For Andrew and me it's a sign that we're home. Yes, even though I'm not a native, Hull is my home away from home. Can you see part of the bridge behind me in the picture below?
Us on the bridge with Andrew's parents, Carol and Neville.
You wouldn't believe how windy and cold it was on the bridge! The wind was so powerful and it cuts right through you!
We went to these last places on the day we were supposed to be in Holland so I'm glad we were able to make the most of our time and be with family and visit these special places instead. We were also able to visit our old one bedroom flat. It's where we lived when Elliot was born. We have lots of good memories there.
On our last day one of the places we visited was Hessle Forshore. Yep, that's the Humber Bridge in the background. We took Julie and James there at dusk and it was such a beautiful experience.
So romantic!
On our last day we also took the time to visit family and take lots of pictures saying our goodbyes. I'll spare you those pictures but one. Below is a "family" picture at Andrew's grandma's where we stayed. Not sure why Josie is in the picture, and technically Rich isn't family either but I love it anyway!
Andrew and Nev saying their last goodbyes at Manchester airport below.
Traveling home was just like traveling there. Long! Even though Andrew would have easily stayed another week we were all happy to make it home safely and enjoyed sleeping in our own beds again.
Home sweet home! Speaking of sweets, check out all the goodies we brought home to share! Yum! As of now we're planning on our next visit to England to be summer 2014. Hopefully no one will get sick and our plans will actually work out!
It took me a while to get all these posted but I posted pictures regularly on Instagram while we were in England. If you care to follow you can find me at "marilynturkey".

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

East Park and Liverpool

East Park is a beautiful park in Hull. I wish Mesa had a park this cool. There's a lake with a bridge, fields for sports, a mini zoo, boats to go on the lake, gym equipment, a playground. I have lots of memories walking to East Park with Elliot in the stroller when we lived in Hull. We really enjoyed strolling through the park after church on Sunday. The zoo area was closed but we could see all the animals through the fence.
We left Elliot and Avery with Claire and Rich one day while spending a few hours in Liverpool. James was especially excited to go to Liverpool (about 3 hours west of Hull) since it's the birth home of the Beatles, one of his favorite bands. Andrew and I have already been so we mostly went shopping while Julie and James did the Beatles bus tour.
Tomorrow will be the last installment of our England trip so stay tuned!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Most people don't know anything about Scarborough except that there's a song about it. Remember?: "Have you been to Scarborough Fair?". The actual fair stopped hundreds of years ago but people used to come from all over the country to trade at Scarborough Fair. Now, the main attraction of Scarborough is that it's a sea-side city (right on the North Sea) and for tourists, Scarborough Castle. Below is part of the graveyard the at the end of the parking lot to get to the castle ruins. In the back of the picture is St. Mary's Church.
Another view of St. Mary's church and the grassy parking lot behind Julie and James. The castle is on a hill and is very windy. The wind cuts through you and is very cold so we tried to layer up. Avery looks warm, although a little mismatched.
In the parking lot/graveyard is none other than Anne Bronte's headstone. I've also seen the headstones of the other Bronte sister's (Charlotte and Emily) in Westminster Abbey.
And there's the castle. This is actually our third time seeing it.
Below the kids are playing at the castle and on the right is a cool looking building close the the castle.
After the castle we parked near the marina where all the boats dock and had some fish and chips.
It was a little too cold for us to play on the beach but we couldn't leave without going to the Harbour Bar for the traditional foot-long ice cream cone.
As you see, I do not exaggerate when I say the cone was a foot long. We shared two between all of us and even that was too much. I guess James didn't have any since he can't have dairy but still. The ice cream was so creamy and yummy. Julie had strawberry vanilla swirl and we got chocolate vanilla swirl. I'm not sure who enjoyed it the most but Josie looked like she couldn't get enough!
Looking at my Scarborough pictures makes me wish I were there now! Since it's only about an hour and a half away from Hull I think we might visit there next time. If you're ever in North England you should consider stopping there.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Leeds and The Deep

Pretty much all of our plans changed during our stay in England. Some times it wasn't our fault! The kids got sick so they didn't sleep well so we left late every morning. We wanted to go to the Preston Temple but it was closed. We wanted to go to Edinburgh, Scotland the first week but all the hotels were booked for New Year's celebrations. We wanted to go to Holland on a ferry the second week but we didn't read the terms and conditions (after having paid) and found out too late that I'm three weeks too far along. There were other things, but you get the idea.

We weren't planning on going to Leeds but I'm glad we did, even though Andrew and I had already been there. It's about 2 hours west of Hull. When we got there we were all hungry so we ate at Pizza Express before going to the Leeds Armouries Museum.
When Elliot gets tired he still sucks his thumb and plays with his or my hair.
Yum! That was good food, although a little over-priced with the exchange rate.
If you are interested in weapons or armor in different parts of the world and in history you would love this museum. Admittedly, I was a little bored having seen it all before but Andrew and James loved it.
Elliot would have loved it too if he hadn't fallen asleep and taken a nap the whole time we were there.
Looks like Avery was ready for a nap here.
Andrew's cousins came up from Portsmouth (about 5 hours south of Hull) for a few days and we took all the kids to The DEEP. They re-vamped it since the last time I went so it was nice seeing all the improvements. The kids loved the sharks.
Come back tomorrow for pictures from Scarborough.