Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Huge Granny Square Baby Blanket

I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of this crocheting thing a little bit, this is my second baby blanket and I took on the granny square. Granted I haven't tackled anything harder than a blanket, but baby steps right! Plus blankets are pretty useful, and make for really nice gifts as well!

So, if you're interested, here are the details about what I used, and how it's done.

This is just one giant granny square, I was going to make smaller ones and then thought, hmmm I'm just going to keep going until it got big enough that I was satisfied. I did 27 rounds, alternating colours each round. The edge is just two rows of single crochets. I guess I could have just done a granny stripe blanket, then it would look the same but be a rectangle rather than a square.

The crochet hook I used was 9mm

The wool is Cleckheaton Country Aran 10ply colour #4006 and Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8ply colour #1805

I had 4 x 50 g balls of wool of each colour, and I used about 3 and a half of each colour (so approx 175g of each).

If you don't know how to crochet a granny square, I watched this series of You tube videos this is lesson 1 (I think there are five or six) http://youtu.be/79zZJjXRfSM, the videos are really thorough and nice and slow, I found them awesome. Of course I have to flip everything around because I'm left handed.

If you want to see my first crochet blanket, it's a Yellow and Grey Chevron baby blanket. Just click HERE

I think this is one of the easiest blankets you can crochet, and it was really quick!! So a great one for beginners like me!

x Karen


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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Of Late: Off my game

I should be taking a nap. It is one of those rare occasions that both of my kids are sleeping. These moments are precious to me. As much as I love my children, having a little bit of time to myself during the day is glorious. It doesn't always happen, and I'm certainly not counting on it, so when it does I don't want to do anything else than sit and enjoy the silence and the solitude. Especially today.


After minimal sleep last night, I think I was up every hour on the hour since 1am, for one reason or another. Blahhh, exhausted. So exhausted that I tried to leave the grocery store without paying this morning. Got my items scanned and bagged, then I took off, only to hear the checkout lady calling out to me. Oh man, my head is not in the game!

When I got home, I looked down to realise I still had my pyjama top on, I remember taking it off this morning, trying a few shirts on that didn't really fit my post baby body as well as I would like, and then grabbed a tank to put on, I guess I grabbed the wrong one, hence, pyjamas! Luckily I had a very cute baby strapped to me in the Ergo so hopefully nobody noticed. I just had to have a little chuckle to myself, I'm so out of it!

It has been one of those weeks where I just feel like I'm lagging. I can't seem to catch up and I'm getting left behind. Last week I felt like I had it all together... I'm not sure what happened in between! The house is a wreck, the days are a blur,, the dinners are simple and thrown together, tempers are short, the nights I have a hard time getting off the couch and doing something productive, but we've been watching 'So I married an Axe Murderer', one of our favourite movies, because a little laughter makes everything better and makes me relax! HEAD MOVE NOW!!!

I guess almost three months of interrupted nights (not including the pregnancy interrupted nights) is just started to take its toll. I guess I can't have it all together, all the time right ;)

I can't wait for the weekend, did I mention LONG WEEKEND!

I hope you were able to bring your 'A' game this week!! Somebody needs to, and it ain't my turn right now!

Good thing they are so cute!

x Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Things I miss about Freo

 

It's always strange going back to a place that was once so familiar. Things change, and you feel very disconnected from it. You feel like a stranger in a place that you once felt so at home. It's amazing that it can feel that way in only 6 months.Yesterday we spent the morning in Freo, our old stomping ground, it's been just over 6 months since we moved away. We didn't move far, just an hour south. We drove past our old house, and had a bit of a sticky beak, we noticed the new owners are just as bad at maintaining the front yard as we were! That made us feel a little better. We noticed the council still is terrible at maintaining the verges!

Going back reminded me of all the things that I miss about Fremantle.

I miss all the facilities and programs for kids, like Buster the fun bus, I miss having an almost endless choice of restaurants and caf├ęs, I miss Run Amuk hotdogs and Missy Moos Burgers. I miss meeting my Mums group down on South Beach, I miss our favourite patisserie that was on the street behind our house, I miss the IGA and all their hard to find food selections, I miss the great Drs surgery just across the park, I miss Little Creatures and their awesome frites, I miss having so many great shops so close, I miss walking to the toy library, I miss having grocery stores within walking distance, I miss our friends.

But, I don't miss the crazy people walking in front of our house and having domestic disputes and having to call the police multiple times, I don't miss the busy road, I don't miss the drafts in our old house, I don't miss only having a gas heater in one room, I don't miss having a shared driveway, I don't miss the weekly teenage parties at the hall across the road, I don't miss our neighbors, I don't miss the busyness and the run down places.

I'm glad we made the move, we are more 'country' now, still very much in a built up area but without the atmosphere that Freo has. I still often miss so many things about living in Freo, there is just something about it! It's nice to spend the morning wandering around, even if the weather was fairly average. I would visit more often if it wasn't just a bit of a mission driving a two hour round trip with two small children!

Karen xx

Linking up with Jess for #IBOT

PS. Gooo Dockers!!

 

 


 


 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What's in my Nappy Bag!


Today, I thought it would be kind of fun if I shared what I cart around in my nappy bag on a daily basis. You get a lot of insight about people when you know whats in their bag! From my bag the insight you get is that I change A LOT of nappies!!! 

 As a Mum of a baby and a toddler I feel like a pack horse most of the time. My bag is is usually full to almost overflowing. I usually forget multiple things and have to run back and forth from the car getting all the forgotten items. These days leaving the house can be such a mission! 

So, when I leave I obviously have some (or a lot of) staples, things I cannot survive without! 

My nappy bag of course, which is a Vera Bradley 'Diaper Bag'. I'm not sure if you can get them in Australia now, but when I got this (2 years ago) I had to get my in-laws to bring it over from the US. I love it, and it has lasted really well with all the daily use! The pattern and quilted material hide any dirt or marks, and it has lots of great pockets inside and out and big straps so its easy to put over my shoulder! 



1. Nappies: It wouldn't be a nappy bag without the nappies! One in cloth and one still in disposables, I am preparing to make the change soon, but just as we are adjusting to having two in nappies I have been putting it off. But I hate going through so many disposables!! 
2. Change Mat & Wipes: A friend bought me this nifty little handmade mat with wipes pocket when I was pregnant with Ezra. It is so nice because it rolls up into a nice little clutch that fits the wipes and 2 nappies inside. 
3. Breastfeeding Cover: Made for me by a lovely colleague when I was pregnant with Ezra! It comes in handy often!
4. 2 Outfit changes for Willow, because you never know when you are going to be presented with multiple Pooplosions, so my motto is 'be prepared', because I've been caught out before! One outfit isn't enough! 
5. Hat: Because toddlers like to play outside, and babies and sunshine don't go so well together just yet! 
6. Drink bottle: for the boy who likes to play hard!
7. Lip Gloss: I can't go anywhere without it
8. Hand Sanitiser: Because no one likes having poop on their hands! 
9. A Stash of Tissues: Because toddlers are snotty! 
10. Cars: Come in handy very often. They give me 5 minutes extra when waiting for food at restaurants or something to distract a grumpy kid in the car! 
11. Nice smelling nappy bags! Because I don't want my bag smelling like poop! Usually I also carry a reusable Wet bag for the cloth nappies or wet clothes or whatever needs storing separately. 
12. Wallet (for obvious reasons)
13. Sunnies: because I like to look super cool! Oh, and they also help keep the sun out of my eyes. 

Then I add snacks or lunches for the toddler and whatever else is specific to our outing for the day! 

So thats what's in my nappy bag, what's in yours? 


Did you know I now have a fortnightly newsletter? 

Karen xx 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Apps I love for blogging on an IPad

Favourite apps for blogging on IPad

I often see bloggers mention that they don't like to blog on their iPads, so I wanted to share my favourite apps for IPad blogging that make it really easy. I do most of my blogging these days on my IPad, because I rarely get the chance to sit upstairs on my computer, so I take the snippets of time I get and jump on the IPad. Even though there are some things that I need to do on my computer, for the most part I can do pretty much everything I want for a post on my IPad without too much drama. I don't know about any of the other blogging platforms but I use blogger, and I hate using their iPhone and IPad apps, and using the actual blogger.com page on safari on IPad is a nightmare.

So, I use an IPad app called Blogsy instead, unfortunately Yes, it costs money (around $5 I think), but it is really easy to use, you can add text links, arrange photos and change photo sizes and add alt text and captions too. I feel like I have better control of my photo sizing via Blogsy as well, which is something that really frustrates me about blogger. You can save drafts both locally and online, and schedule posts. You need a Flickr or Picasa account to add photos to a blogsy post, but I already had Flickr and it is a great way to back up all your photos anyway.

If you don't want to spend money, there is another fairly easy to navigate app called Posts, that is free. I have only briefly tried posts, it seems fairly easy to navigate, and is pretty good for a free app.
Unfortunately, neither of these apps are available on an IPhone. But, the people from Blogsy have launched an app that can upload photos direct from your phone to your blog, it's called PUPs, I'm yet to try it, and I'm not sure if it works with blogger (I'm assuming it will), but it sounds like a really useful app.
Blogsy review
Writing a post (this post intact) on Blogsy
The other important thing to me when I'm blogging, is photos, so I use a few photo editing apps on my phone and IPad

I love using the VSCO camera app, because I lug so much baby and toddler gear around with me when I go out I rarely take my DSLR camera with me, and if I do I usually forget I have it and leave it in the car. So I end up taking most of my photos on my phone. The VSCO cam app takes much better photos than the regular camera app, and the editing and filter options are simple to use but look really great, and it makes the photos look a lot sharper! I often edit them on my phone and then access them on my photostream on my IPad and load them onto Flickr using the Blogsy App. But you can use your Ipad to edit the pictures on too, which is nicer because od the bigger screen. It's such a simple to use, yet really effective app, I love the way it makes my iPhone photos look so much better.

I use Photogene to edit my photos quite often, and because I have the photostream linking my iPhone, iMac and ipad photos it means I can easily access all of my pictures from any device on my IPad, open them in photogene edit them and save them to my camera roll. The nice thing about photogene is that it lets you add tags and Metadata to the photos as well.
Photogene picture

Two more apps I love are A Beautiful Mess & Rhonna Designs. These two apps are really popular at the moment so there is a good chance you have heard of them. I find them great to add titles and descriptions and patterns to pictures (which is helpful for Pinterest). They have lots of different fonts and designs that you can use and makes it really easy to create gorgeous designs on your photos or even use their backgrounds to make lists or banners. The first image in this post was made with the A Beautiful Mess app in about 5 minutes. Below is an example of what Rhonna can be used for.

Rhonna designs
So do you love or loathe blogging on your smart phones or tablets? And what are your favourite apps?
Karen xx
Linking up with Jess for #IBOT today!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Boys Spring Fashion at Target {Sponsored}

This post is sponsored by Target Australia.

I'm really excited to be doing some featured posts for Target, and I'm especially excited when it includes being able to head down to their stores and stock up on some much needed clothes for the kidlets!
 As the weather is about to start warming up again, (this is my wishful thinking, the weather has been so rainy and cold still) and Spring is upon us, I realised that Ezra was severely lacking in Spring or Summer clothes that still fit him. So, I headed to Target on a mission to find some stylish outfits for him. Finding trendy clothes for boys has always been a bit of a challenge for me, it seems like the stores usually have rows upon rows of gorgeous little girls clothing, but only one or two rows for boys with a very limited selection. It drives me crazy, and then the stuff I find that I really like is usually out of my budget. Ezra is also a pretty typical 2 year old boy, he plays really hard and likes to rough and tumble around, so I need to make sure his clothes are going to be good enough quality to last the season. I was nicely surprised that at Target I found so many awesome options for little boys, not only are they well priced, they are also great quality, so I had a really hard time choosing! In the end, I managed to pick out my favourite 3 outfits (shorts and tops) and an extra pair of shorts all for under $100, I even managed to fit something in for baby Willow under the budget too. He is so prepared for the warm weather now! 


I was also nicely surprised that I had such a cooperative (and can I say really cute) little boy showing off his new clothes! 

  Ahh I love this outfit, its a little dressier and so can be worn to some more 'formal' occasions as well. The red denim shorts are pretty darn cute and a nice change from the traditional blue!
 This is the Road Rebel Shirt and Road Rebel Stretch Denim Jeans. Found HERE and HERE
I love the little camo pocket on this shirt! The shorts still have some 'room to grow' and are adjustable around the waist which is perfect for my skinny kid!

How cool is this shirt, I love the sneaker print? 
There were so many pairs of stylish boardies for boys, I had to get two pairs. The blue ones pictures above and this orange pair with the little triceratops found HERE
 I was given gift cards and payment for this post, but all opinions are my own! I really am a big fan of these toddler clothes!! 

Do you find it difficult finding stylish clothes for toddler boys?
Or do you just get to peruse all the awesome girls clothes?

Karen xx 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DIY Heart Embroidery Wall Hanging


This hearts embroidery is something that I made a while ago, but it is really quite quick and simple to make, it looks great and is a nice homemade crafty embroidery piece to add to your home. So, I thought I would do a little DIY tutorial, which includes how to iron- on transfer embroidery patterns or images onto your fabric. It would go perfectly is a kids bedroom or as a part a collage of prints and pictures on your wall in any room.


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

-Embroidery Hoop (I used a 9 inch hoop, but you can scale the pattern to any size you want)
- Un-dyed Calico or white cotton material
- Needle
- Embroidery floss (at least one colour, but you can use all different colours if your prefer)
- Tracing Paper
- Iron on transfer Pencil
- Iron
- A printer to print out the pattern
- Scissors 
optional: Some craft clue to glue down the material to the hoop

HOW YOU DO IT

1. Print off the template from HERE
2. Trace the hearts onto the tracing paper with an iron on transfer pencil (I bought mine from Spotlight) 
3. With the pencil marks facing downwards dry (not steam) iron the pattern onto the calico that is cut to the size to fit in the hoop with about 4-5 cm extra material around the hoop.
4. Put the iron on patterned calico in the hoop stretch so it is nice and tight and then tighten the hoop.
5. The stitch I used for the hearts is the simple back stitch. Which means you are just putting the needle back through the hole that your previous stitch created (see picture). 
6. Once they are all finished trim the material around the edge of the hoop, and glue it down. 




use the hoop to line it up correctly and then remove to iron!
Make sure the pencil is sharp, you don't want these lines too thick!
The back stick, makes it look nice and neat.

Then you are finished and it is ready to hang.
Oh so so easy! But it looks really nice!

Karen xx



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Monday, September 9, 2013

We're building a house: Bricks and Mortar

We got a bit of a shock this week when my parents called us to let us know they did a night time drive by of our block and thought they were looking at the wrong house because a whole wall of bricks had been laid already! So, of course Saturday morning we hurried down to the block ourselves to check out the latest development. It was so great to see all the bricks, window frames, door frames had been delivered. So now, we have a real brick and mortar house in progress!

And, Tan mortar that is, tan mortar which is apparently an upgrade from the standard cream mortar, and for this upgrade we agreed to pay an extra $900. It seems a bit ridiculous, but if you've ever built a house, you would know they charge you through the nose for everything and apparently that is the cost to add the tan olour, and this colour brick colour with the standard cream mortar looked horrid, so we sucked it up and paid the extra money.We chose this brick colour because we really liked how it looked on the display home, it's called Tourmaline, by Brickmakers. I think it looks awesome but it is hard to capture the exact colour in the pictures but its a browny/grey, I definitely like that it is different from the cream or red bricks that seem to be really popular. You won't see them on the front of the house, that will be rendered, but the rest will be open brick.

The builders seem to be moving pretty quick, so who knows what will happen by next week!!

Karen xx

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