Sunday, December 20, 2009

Children's books

- Part two in my series of favorite things -
(Tangent: Why does Julie Andrews sing about whiskers on kittens? I never understood how that could be a favorite thing...I mean, they're just whiskers. Other animals have them as well. ((sigh)) The pointless things that occupy my brain)

Everyone has a favorite children's book or author. Sometimes from our own childhood, other times from what we read our children.
This post highlights a current favorite in our household (and has been for almost a year now). The pidgeon books by Mo Willems.

We currently own:

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!
(I dare you to read this one at bedtime and NOT yawn when the pigeon does)
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!

My one word review of these: hysterical.

There's just something about the way he writes and the emotional expression of the characters that takes the book beyond a kid's story.

Seriously. The next time you are in your local bookstore or library (*ahem* ...we all know how I feel about ours), stop by the children's section and check one of these out.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Perfectly Paper - Handmade Flowers

I hate to put a disclaimer, but I must: I was in no way compensated/persuaded/asked to do this post. I just wanted to share something amazing with my readers, 'k?

A friend of mine from high school recently started her own business, Perfectly Paper - Handmade Flowers. At first I read her description and thought, "oh, paper flowers...whatev," thinking they'd be something like the tissue paper flowers we used to make in school...but then I took a look at her product and my jaw dropped.

Take a look at this photo and tell me I'm wrong.

I have never seen hand-painted paper roses look so realistic in my entire life. I wish she was doing this three years ago so I could have bought my wedding bouquet from her. The whole reason I didn't go with more flowers for my wedding was because of the waste - you spend a ton of money on something that dies a few days later. And you all know how I feel about things that are handmade!

Take a look at her website or her Etsy site. In addition to the amazing flowers you'll see her new line of greeting cards.

(Seriously...what can't this girl do?)

A series...

I will be doing a series of posts of people/places/things that I want to highlight for whatever reason.

Why? Just because. My life is not all that exciting right now (get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, spend a little time with the hubby and kid, kid goes to bed, get stuff ready for the next day, go to sleep) and there just so many other things I want to talk about that have nothing to do with my day-to-day life. This is a blog about randomness, right?

So, here it goes. I will post my first random highlight, in 5 minutes. Ready...set...go!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dust is a good thing, right?

It comes as no surprise to me that my last post was almost a month ago. The last month has been crazy, lovely, stressful, fun, emotionally trying, know, the usual.

Happenings in our household:
  • Lots and lots of sickness for everyone
  • Work. Work. And more work.
  • Trying to handle the ever-changing mood of Peanut - teeth, major routine change, and missing daddy and mommy create chaos of the unfun variety.
  • Doubting decisions one minute, then fulling embracing them the next.
I'm hoping to have some Halloween photos posted soon, but the child is having a dance party right now. I never pass up a dance party.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


There is just something so distracting about fall. Once the air starts getting cooler, I think "oh crap winter is almost here!" and I try to spend as much time outside as I can. This chick was not meant for cold weather (but I suck it up because I don't like the creepy-crawlies you guys got in the south. Give me wind chills and snow any day over a bug bigger than a quarter).

And that is why I haven't been around much. Well, that and booking our lives full of weddings, birthdays, garage sales and other commitments. August and September were a blur.

* * * * *
I will be starting work soon.* I am equal parts excited and frantic right now. I feel like there's so much to do before then. Same crazy feeling I get with the onset of fall, except with more sleepless nights and tension headaches.

In an effort to remain in one piece, I'm exercising my organizational skills. I have collected a bunch of slow cooker recipes** so we won't become regular customers of our local restaurants.
Hmm...that comment may lead one to think that I do all the cooking around here. I really don't - ShankRabbit takes on 95% of the cooking duties (voluntarily, mind you. He loves to do it). So really this recipe preparation is to ensure I don't have to cook after getting home from work. And that I can soak up as much Peanut time as I can before she heads to bed less than 2 hours later. Really, it's something I should have been doing eons ago.

* * * * *
My child is fun. Have I mentioned that before? Yes, there are wonderful moments with a baby and yadda yadda yadda...but now she's such a blast! She may have her dramatic moments of life not being fair (hey, if I can't play hopscotch with the DVDs, neither can you!)...but she's so much fun to be around. We have dance parties and color and cuddle and chase each other around the house. And when all is said and done and she's been tucked in for the night, not more than a couple hours goes by where I find I miss her.

How can you not miss this face?

Note: Give the child food and she'll let you do whatever to her hair.

This was taken at our garage sale last weekend. It's the beginning of October and we've already had to break out the winter coats. ShankRabbit, however, was running around in a cordoroy blazer and/or just his t-shirt. And I'm the one that's been getting sick. Grr...

She understands the concept of smiling for pictures. Here she is saying "cheese!"...or in her words "Theeeeeese!" As you can see she's starting to develop her mom's signature "hooknose" smile - hopefully she doesn't actually have a hooknose later in life. It's not pretty.


* I just got word that A (the lady whose maternity leave I'm covering) went into labor early yesterday morning (30+ days early. Yikes!). I really should be starting work NOW, but since I can't leave the child at home, I have to wait until her official first day of daycare. Could you imagine the absolute brain-chaos I'd be experiencing if I had to start right now?

** I sufficiently scoured the CrockPot Lady's archives for yumminess and I could use a few more ideas. Have any recipes to share?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I do not recall ever making a true* pie before. You know - cutting cold butter into flour, making pretty edges on the crust, prepping the filling, etc.
I love a good piece of homemade apple pie, but I would never attempt to make it myself. No culinary desire to do so. Until this past weekend...

I asked ShankRabbit what kind of dessert he would like for his birthday.

"Pecan pie. Man, I LOVE pecan pie," he said, practically drooling.
My look of confusion must have signaled further explanation.
"It's my dad's fault - it's his favorite as well. didn't know my favorite pie is pecan?"

I've known this man for 9 years, been married to him for almost 3, and I would have never guessed pecan pie as his favorite. The only pie I've ever seen him consume was pumpkin (this man makes a kick-butt pumpkin pie, I must say).

My first thought was "maybe I could find a pre-made GF pecan pie?" Before you laugh at me, there is a place in Pewaukee known as Molly's Gluten-Free Bakery. They make excellent GF bakery items (I have a great story about this place, but I'll save it for a later post). Unfortunately, I was not within in their 2 day notice time frame and didn't see "pecan pie" on their I was definitely stuck making my own.

If you have never attempted baking something gluten free, try it sometime. It will humble you. Bland and brittle are just two words that describe the majority of my GF baking attempts.

After a lengthy online search, I settled on combining this GF basic pie crust recipe (from with this pecan filling recipe (from

So, I was set to make the pie...except there was a catch. We were having dinner with friends (and their parents) that night, so I had to finish baking it there.


Did you catch that? Not only was I bringing them a GF pecan pie that I had never tried before, but I had to finish baking it in someone else's kitchen (a.k.a. an oven I was not familiar with).

[Cue minor freak out]

After I calmed down a bit, I figured, "hey, if this pie sucks, at least we'll have a funny story to tell" and I would have a great blog post.

Pie was eventually baked and consumed...with delight. I've never had pecan pie before so I can't give a true comparison, but I can tell you that it did not taste GF at all. It was darn tasty.

There were quite a few people at dinner that night, so the pie servings were pretty small. I decided to make another pecan pie a few days know, to see if I could make it just as good.

My stomach says yes.

* Our Thanksgiving Pumpkin pies don't count because we use a simple cereal pie crust. Very easy, very yummy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Homemade refrigerator pickles

It's been a couple weeks since I made my own refrigerator pickles. And I can say, after consuming a few spears, that I am now ready to share with you the recipe I used and my (rather painful) experience.

I love love love pickles (dill, garlic, spicy...I'm game. As long as they are not sweet. Get that crap away from me). I happened upon a beautiful batch at the farmer's market and thought, " hard could it be to make my own?" I mustered up some adventurous spirit, grabbed several pickling cucumbers (and fresh dill) and began my recipe search.

I thought this recipe sounded the best for what I wanted - just a simple, easy to prepare dill pickle. I didn't want to mess with all the canning intricacies, so the "refrigerator" version was perfect. After reviewing ingredients, I had almost everything on hand except for mason jars and pickling spice mix (you can buy this pre-made. I thought it would be a safe bet for a first-time pickler).


Well, the pickling spice mix proved to be an endangered species. According to some knowledgeable pickle-making people, this stuff sells out early in the season and isn't restocked in the grocery stores.

Alright, a little bump in the road but nothing I couldn't handle. I would make my own spice mix (as provided in the recipe) and go from there.

On a warm, Wednesday afternoon, after putting Peanut down for her nap (both important points to the story), I got to work. Here is the recipe in its entirety (my comments are in red italics).

Refrigerator Pickle Spice Mix Recipe

Ingredients You Will Need:
½ cup sugar
½ cup kosher salt
⅔ cup fresh dill weed (packed tight)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon peppercorns

Combine the spices together just before making pickles.

Refrigerator Pickle Recipe
Ingredients You Will Need:
3 cups white vinegar
Pickling spice mix listed above
Sterilize your pickle jars by boiling them in hot water for 10 minutes.
I ran the jars and their lids through the dishwasher. This seemed to work just fine for my purposes.

Wash the cucumbers, and then soak them in an ice water bath for two hours.
Not wanting to wait 2 whole hours, I buried them in a lot of ice - and a little water - and cut the time down to one hour.
After two hours of soaking, slice the pickles into either quarters or in slices, depending on how you like them. I wasn't sure which to go with, so I did a couple whole pickles, some spears and some slices. All in all, a total of 5 (big) pickles.
Bring 3 cups of vinegar to a slow boil in a glass or coated metal pot (do not use a metal pot, as it will react with the vinegar) and add spice mix listed above. Mix well.
It was a warm day, so the A/C was on. What does this mean? A/C on, windows closed...and dear jebus, it was the wrong thing to do. If you learn anything from me ever in your life, please note that VENTILATION IS ALWAYS YOUR FRIEND. Boiling vinegar is one thing, but adding mustard seeds, peppercorns and dill...Instant.Searing. Eye. Pain. It's like chopping up a fresh onion - except you pour the onion juice directly into your eyes. Yeah...that kind of pain.
And Peanut was sound asleep and far away from the toxic fumes. So, no worries there.

Pack the cucumbers into the jars as tightly as you can (yes, pack 'em in there as best you can. They will float), and then pour the simmering pickling mix into the jars on top of the pickles. Cover the jars, and let the jars rest for a few hours, until the pickles reach room temperature. Then, put them in the refrigerator, and leave them for one week before eating them. I'm very impatient and didn't think I'd make it a whole week without cracking a jar open, but by Saturday I had forgotten all about them. It wasn't until the next Thursday that I remembered and ran to our spare fridge to try them out. See what happens when a Mom Of Very Little Memory makes pickles?
(sorry about photo quality...taken with my cell phone)

(and that dark spot is a big hunk of dill. I think next time I'll put that part in the jar first, then the pickles)

* * * * *

I am stating for the record that I could have made some mistakes while prepping this batch. Heck, I was half-blind most of the day. So, you may get an entirely different type of pickle out of this recipe. Who knows. But I will say my batch are not mild pickles. Fortunately, I like the sour punch-you-in-the-face flavor these pickles have, so it all turned out OK for me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thank you, Chex

I am in the process of writing up a recipe post about homemade refrigerator pickles (for those that follow me on twitter, this is old news). In the meantime, I thought I'd share a picture of what I woke up to yesterday morning:

8 boxes of Chex cereal (8th one not pictured as it is on the counter, already opened).

Why do we have so many boxes?

1. Buy 8 boxes of General Mills cereal, get $10 off and 2 coupons for free gallons of milk ($3.25 value each).
2. Up until recently, only their Rice Chex were gluten free. Now, they offer Honey Nut, Chocolate, and Strawberry Chex...all gluten free. For my husband who is stuck eating bland cereal all the time*, this is a major breakthrough.

So, we'll be eating a lot of cereal in the days to come (I've been told that a bowl of Chocolate Chex makes a nice dessert option).


* Yes, there are flavorful gluten-free options out there for cereal, but they require a trip to the health food store and cost more. It's nice to have a mainstream option.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


There's nothing I want more than to vent about the experience I just had and name names. But a) I don't want to get involved in some crazy defamation lawsuit and b)I don't feel I should give them free press (even if it is bad). So, here is my experience with a certain car facility whose repair shop we use because it is part of our warranty.

I just spent 2 hours waiting for a car repair. 2 hours for something they told me would take 30-45 minutes. 2 hours of waiting for the lone technician to come back from lunch (a half hour after my appt time), take the 30 minutes to replace the damaged seatbelt, and then wait for our warranty's approval...and approval I ALREADY spent 2 hours waiting for a few weeks ago. So, for those keeping score, that's 4 hours invested in a repair that took all of 30 minutes.

I won't fault the technician. He was the only one into today (the other called off) and he had a repair that ran late, hence the late lunch. I've been in a similar situation at work before. Totally cool. But for Pete's sake, how hard is it for someone to make a quick phone call to me and say, "hey...we know you have a 1pm appointment, but here's what's going on." Give me the opportunity to reschedule.
No...the receptionist says, "I didn't know that the mechanic went on lunch until just now...[blah de blah explains the situation] so I don't expect him back until closer to 2pm." Did I mention I had been waiting for quite a bit at this point?

I am partly at fault for not voicing my anger at the wait the first time. Maybe they just didn't understand how upsetting it is to sit around a waiting room with a 1.5 year old to be told "yep, it's covered under the warranty. Let's get the part ordered and have you come back in."

Why, I ask, did I have to sit there to be told it was going to be approved? Doesn't anyone know how to use a telephone?!

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

A few weeks goes by, anger subsides. I am quickly reintroduced to Anger today when I am told (after noticing my car sitting in front of the window all by its lonesome - a good 30 minutes after I was told the technician would start working on it) the repair is done...but now they are waiting on an approval from the warranty company so they can close the ticket.

You have got to be kidding me.

I think my aura of Anger must have carried over to the other workers, because along comes Mr. me an "update." I use that term loosely because not more than 5 minutes before I went to the receptionist myself to figure out why my car was sitting there and I couldn't take it home.

It is now nearing the 2 hour mark. I am about to raise a good deal of hell in this place. I've done all I can to entertain and feed the child, but there is no denying she is well overdue for a nap. I just want to pay and go home.

Finally, Mr. Consultant calls me over and says that he'll settle up my bill for me with a manual receipt...since, you know, I had been waiting there for so long and they had already received the approval once before.

Ok...hang on a second. You mean to tell me you could have done this manual receipt an HOUR ago?!

[I swear I felt steam shoot out of my ears]

Upon discussing my displeasure with this whole situation, Mr. Consultant tries to justify today's wait with "well, if we don't get the approval, the mechanic doesn't get paid."


* * * * *


I'm done.

I'm home, child is napping, and I'm listening to the soothing sounds of Joshua Radin.

Serenity NOW!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ridin' the waves...

I'm usually one who embraces change. However, this time around the change that is happening is huge and throws my head into an angry sea of mixed emotions. And when my brain is swimming, I need to talk...or blog.

After taking the first 3 months of Peanut's life just to be with her, I returned to the work force part-time. Once Christmas hit (and with that, our awesome childcare) we decided I should be the stay-at-home parent.

Now, after nearly a year of 24/7 mom time, I will be working outside of the home again - full time (ok, so it's not 100% definite yet, but it's pretty close). If it weren't for the specific opportunity I've been presented, I wouldn't have given it a don't think this is something we HAVE to do.

Peanut is a toddler now. She is growing increasingly independent, she loves being social and would benefit from a group setting. Also, ShankRabbit will be dropping her off and picking her up from daycare each day, so she will get a lot more one-on-one time with daddy, which is awesome.

There are just so many positives to this new situation that the "other stuff" seems so insignificant...but they are still there. I won't even list them because I don't want to dwell.


I just have to come to grips with letting my "baby" go...letting her grow and develop into the lovely child she is quickly becoming. Just yesterday she learned how to carefully dip her french fry in ketchup and take a bite (after a few rounds of just licking the ketchup off, she figured it out). We visited a potential daycare facility this afternoon and she was there only 5 minutes before she wanted nothing to do with us and ran off to play with the toys and other kids.

It's hard for me, but I think when all is said and done I'll be more happy than sad.

* * * * *
In other big news, our best friends (one of which was Peanut's nanny for a while) are moving 6 hours away in a couple weeks. My thoughts? LALALALALALALALA...I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Yeah, I'm taking the adult approach to this other big change...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random stuff

I'm all hopped up on productivity, so I thought I'd write a blog post (no, my BFF is not instructing me to write a post...nope, not at all)

First, I'd like to tell you all about the beautiful start to my morning. In half-consciousness, I hear a BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP (annoying yet? Because it sure was annoying the heck out of me). First thought - am I dreaming? No. Second thought - phone alarm? I certainly didn't set one and it was just after 7am - too early for ShankRabbit to wake up. Third thought - Smoke/Carbon Monoxide detector? Ohholyjebus, I'M AWAKE I'M AWAKE! Turns out, that wasn't the source. There's nothing like a little jolt of adrenaline to get your butt out of bed.

After about an ETERNITY (morning speak for 2 minutes or so), the beeping stopped. Followed shortly thereafter by the sweet, dulcet tones of a jackhammer.
(I later figured out that the beeping must have been the reversing sound of their work truck.)

This was all forgiven when I spied the guy manning the jackhammer do Michael Jackson-like moves trying to evade a bee. Quite comical.

After dropping the dear husband off at work, I took the long way to get on the highway. I wait at the light for it to turn green. I proceed into the intersection, ready to make a left hand turn, and I am greeted with the sounds of screeching tires and smoke to my left. Apparently, Mr. Pays-no-attention-to-the-road was about to speed right on through the red light...right into my van (well, technically, he would clipped the back end of a different car first, then me). I was very proud that the only thing to come out of my mouth was a very loud "OH CRAP!" I tend to go for more, uh...colorful words in the car.

Although my morning is not something I'd like to recreate, I'm more awake now that if I drank a whole pot of coffee. Let's give it up for adrenaline!

* * * * *

Joshua Radin just came up on my Pandora station. I'm happy-dancing in my seat right now.

* * * * *

I took Peanut to the Westown farmer's market yesterday. In addition to chasing pigeons and stopping to watch a juggler perform, she got a chance to bust-a-move to some live music. It was a lot more fun of a farmer's market than I'm used to - though my usual stop has more of a selection.
If it wasn't for the sticky heat and evil eyes from other mommys (apparently I was sitting a little too close to this mommy-groupmember's unmanned stroller. Hey lady, if you're going whisper and shoot glares for getting too close to your purse, then here's a thought: put it over your freaking shoulder and not hanging off the handle of your stroller! Didn't anyone ever tell you that if you make that face too much it might stay that way? Perpetually angry gofer is not a good look on you), we would have stayed longer.

* * * * *

Big, big changes around the corner. Lots of stuff to think about that I'm sure I'll share with you all soon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Definitions from a Catholic dictionary

I'm going to bypass an actual "what I've been up to" post, because...well, there is an office/workspace to be cleaned with my name on it. And if I don't clean the space, I can't sew. And I'm so excited about my next projects I literally skipped to the car after purchasing the necessary tools. Fortunately, I could pass the skipping off as "entertaining my daughter" so I didn't look so much like a freak. You know, more than normal.

So, in honor of bypassing a real update, I thought I'd share a little religious humor I found in an old email-

Definitions from a Catholic Dictionary

Amen: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows
Bulletin: Your receipt for attending Mass
Hymn: A song of praise, usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation's range
Choir: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the congregation to lip-sync
Holy Water: A liquid whose chemical composition is H2OLY
Incense: Holy smoke!
Jesuits: An order of priests known for their ability to find colleges with good basketball teams
Jonah: The original "JAWS" story
Justice: When kids have kids of their own
Kyrie: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava
Magi: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower
1. Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn't covered by an HMO
2. The Bible's way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough
Pew: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches
Procession: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and the late parishioners looking for seats
Recessional: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass - led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot
Recessional Hymn: The last song at Mass, often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left
Relics: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel and stand without prompt
Ten Commandments: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman
Ushers: the only people in the parish who don't know the seating capacity of a pew

Friday, July 31, 2009

It's all about perspective

Our 15 month checkup for Peanut was rather uneventful. Yeah, she got a few shots at the end, but nothing her binky and a sticker couldn't soothe.
(and for those interested in her percentile range, it goes as follows - weight: 75%, height: 80%, head circumference: 95-97%...all still trending the same as it did when she was 2 months old. We gots a big kid!)

As I was sitting with the doctor discussing her current milestones, Peanut ran around the exam room, chatting away. She stopped me at one point and asked, "how many words does she know?! I think I've heard at least half a dozen!" I said, "I guess we've never really counted them before...uh [trying to think quickly] 15-20, maybe? Who knows." She responded with "wow, we expect about 3-5 words at this point. So, I don't think I need to tell you that she's doing really well. She's at a 2 year old level with her vocabulary."

Now, I am not saying this to rub it in anyone's face. I had to share this because...well, before this appointment we were a little concerned about her vocabulary. Not enough to send up red flags, but we thought she should be farther along. We had no idea where a 15 month old was supposed to "be" as we don't read those milestone charts you are bombarded with when you have a kid. We know if there was anything to be concerned about, the pediatrician would be quick to let us know.

Once this was brought to my attention, I started thinking about our daily interactions. And it hit me - she really does talk a lot (with and without purpose. She still babbles like the crazy cat lady on the Simpsons, but uses words all the time). A few examples:

While running around the house, "Da Daaaa! Weh are yoooou?"
When asked what she would like for lunch, "Hmmm...(goes to fridge and waits for you to open it up) - hot dog!"
Upon hearing a crying baby down the hall in the doctor's office: "Awww, baby..."
My personal favorite: When she wants up, she'll say "up!" When she wants down, she'll say, "up down!"

We have full conversations. She tells me what she wants and doesn't want. She understands what we tell her and will respond accordingly.

When you live it everyday, you just don't notice...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I need sewing help!

Ok, I'm bringing my request to the masses...maybe you (or someone you know) can answer?

As you know, I have a very basic (but very nice) Kenmore Mini Ultra. And I'm asking it to do a very simple task: sew on knit and jersey fabrics.

My sewing machine does not like it. AT ALL. It skips stitches, eats the fabric, moans like a dying whale...

I have tried every goshdarned combination of solutions to (what seems like) a very simple problem - ball point needles, changing tension, interfacing, synthetic thread...nothing is working.

Can anyone help?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I get it...I'm not a young'un anymore

I went out last night. Normally, not something I would consider notable...except when I go out in Chicago. At 9:30pm. And lose track of time. And have to drive home afterward.

I'm exhausted, but surprisingly alert. I hope to have a big freakin' nap post up later detailing the events of last night.

Oh, in addition to my obvious sleep deprivation, Peanut has a doctor's appointment today and will receive her 15 month shots (shot? Shots? I'm not sure how many. All I know is that MMR is on the list. Fun times). For the first time in her life, daddy won't be there to hold her down hold her hand while she gets her shots. That part will be played by the understudy - me.

And here we go...

Friday, July 24, 2009

A question

Short and simple:

For the last couple years, ShankRabbit's shaving cream came from H2O+ (the body butter is amazing! Works well to curb pregnancy itchy skin). This was the only product that did not irritate his sensitive skin (and it smelled good - an important factor for me). Sadly, they have discontinued this we are on the search again.

Do you have any recommendations? Preferably something that costs less than a lobotomy.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Random Wednesday

The past few weeks have
I don't know how else to describe them other that. There have been ups (how can you not enjoy a perfect sunny day?), there have been downs...but that's life. You know?

* * * * *
I woke up this morning to the wonderful sounds of Peanut who, upon seeing me round the corner, took out her binky just long enough to sign for "food." A whole banana, a piece of toast, and half a bowl of cereal ( this was originally my breakfast) later, she was finally full. A mere 2 hours later, she wanted a snack. Hmm...can we say growth spurt?

* * * * *
I wrote up a post about someone I was not very happy with...but in the end, decided not to publish it (I'm certainly glad I got it out...even if no one will read it). Since I don't want to leave you wondering who is ruffling my feathers (it's not an easy feat), I will share this little bit with my readers...
My father's side of the family INVENTED manipulation and guilt trips. I can hear one comin' a mile away. So, if your intention is to have me emotionally check-out with you and doubt your words/actions, then by all means...send one my way. I'll point to center field and knock it out of the park every time.

* * * * *
I had very painful deja-vu this morning. I was just sitting on our couch, sipping my coffee, watching Sesame Street with Peanut when I shifted my position ever-so-slightly - resulting in throwing out my neck/back. Again. Same time of day, same situation, same debilitating pain.

* * * * *
To all the people getting ready for BlogHer: I wish everyone good weather and safe travels.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A word tour of our home

"Hi, welcome to our home! We're so glad you could join us. Here, let me take your coat.
If you would, please leave your shoes by the door. It's not that we're clean freaks - Peanut loves to eat soil and any interesting finds on the floor. Thanks.

Would you like a tour?

This is our living room. No, we do not decorate with Tupperware containers and measuring spoons. Our child just loves to play with those. Be mindful of where you sit - you don't want a kitchen utensil where the sun don't shine! Hahahaha...heh...wooo...moving on.

This would be our dining room. I know that most dining rooms have...oh, what do you call in them. But we're minimalists. We like to think the absence of furniture in here will make our house seem bigger. In reality, it provides more floor space for Peanut to leave her toys. And for us to have dance parties. Who needs to eat?

And now we have made our way into the kitchen. We spend most of our time in this room, as you can see by the dishes and stuff on the counter.
Isn't our fridge "festive?" Peanut loves to decorate the fridge with handprints and slobber. Oh, and take note of which letters of the alphabet are on the fridge - the other 22 will be underfoot during this tour. Think of it like a scavenger hunt!

We can skip our rooms and the bathroom. The only thing of interest in any of those is our family photo - which can be found on the floor of the bathroom. Our daughter has quite the design sense, doesn't she?

Oh, you're leaving so soon? But you haven't seen our toy-riddled TV room yet! Well, if you must, you must...

Thanks for stopping by! "

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A cop out

It's not that I've been lacking material for blogging, I just lack the motivation. I get 1/2-3/4 of the way through a post and I put it on the shelf for later. I run out of steam and can't seem to get the post right where I want it.

So, while I've spent the last hour technically blogging, you are going to get this meme post ...because it's a heck of a lot more interesting than the drivel I just wrote. Trust me.

Movie Meme

1. A movie that made you laugh: The first one off the top of my head would be Drop Dead Gorgeous. Stupid, yes...but funny.

2. A movie that made you cry: So, so many...but again, the first to come to mind is What Dreams May Come. I think I cried from beginning to end.

3. A movie you loved when you were a child: The Little Mermaid. I used to watch the VHS tape at least 4 times a day when I was little. Kids these days don't know what it's like to wait for something to rewind. Excruciating for an 8 year old, I tell ya.

4. A movie you’ve seen more than once: A lot.

5. One movie you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it: Oy. George of the Jungle (with Brendan Frasier). Mostly because of this dance scene (starts at about 5:10 into the clip). If you're not into seeing half-naked dancing men...then don't click.

6. One movie you hated: I can't think of any that I said I absolutely hated...maybe Mr. Wrong. That was just weird.

7. One movie that scared you: The Grudge. I hate scary movies. I don't know what I was thinking.

8. One movie that bored you: Darjeeling Limited. We turned it off about a third of the way through the movie. Apparently, we stopped it just as it was getting good. I have yet to try this movie again.

9. One movie that made you happy: Enchanted

10. One movie that made you miserable: Well, any movie that makes me cry a majority of the time will do that (see answer to number 2). Although there was a movie I didn't make it through because I was an emotional wreck - Fluke.

11. One movie you weren’t brave enough to see: 90% of scary movies

12. One movie character you’ve fallen in love with: I can't say I've fallen in love with a character. There are times I get so swept up in a performance that I care about them for the couple of hours they are on my screen, but no "falling in love."

13. The last movie you saw: ((checking netflix history)) That would be Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A lot funnier than anticipated.

14. The next movie you hope to see: the newest Harry Potter

Friday, July 10, 2009

How nature made me cry

The minivan story will be up soon...I have to wait for someone *cough, cough* ShankRabbit *cough* to finish writing. In the meantime, here is my story about nature:

It was a typical Wednesday. I had just dropped off ShankRabbit at work, and Peanut and I were heading back home. A few miles away from the house I remembered that I wanted to stop by the bank. I decided to take Highway 100 all the way there (for those non-Milwaukeeans, Hwy 100 is a six lane road. Fairly busy any time of the day). Oddly, not a lot of traffic on the road, "Cool!" I thought. As we were coming up over a bridge, I notice a few cars had stopped or slowed down. I then spied a mother duck and her (8-10?) ducklings crossing the road. They were already in the far right lane (and I was in the middle) so I was able to pass them with no incident. But, my heart got the better of me and I pulled into the right lane, just ahead of them, and turned on my blinkers. A guy in a pick-up truck did the same thing, only he stayed behind the group. So, between our two vehicles, the ducks would be safe.

There was only one other problem - about 5 of the ducklings were unable to make the jump from the road up to the sidewalk. I got out and tried to offer them a makeshift ramp (a book I found in the car), but they were too scared of me. So, I sat in my car and waited. It took about 5 minutes, but they found a crack in the curb they could leap through, rejoining their mother and the other ducklings. SUCCESS! Now, they were all safely on the sidewalk, but next to a (typically) really busy road, about to head over a large bridge. Oy.

Knowing that this mama duck was looking for a nearby water source (and not knowing how close that would be, or how many other streets she'd have to cross) I called the Wisconsin Humane Society's wildlife rescue department and explained the situation. They agreed to look into it.

Now, you're probably thinking, "how did this make you cry?"

Well, just as I was about to leave the spot where I stopped (thank goodness traffic was fairly non-existent), I noticed something in the middle of the road - a duckling that wasn't quite fast enough for traffic, lying in the middle of the street. Mutilated by the continual passing of cars.

Something about seeing that dead duckling, after helping the others, just made my heart sink.

Thanks nature, for making me cry.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I am working on a new blog layout, so in the meantime you may see some wonky lookin' stuff. Sorry.

(and let me state for the record that I hate all the unnecessary spacing Blogger adds above and below photos. Ugh!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

DIY car seat strap covers

My child has a wonderful car seat. Unfortunately, the straps irritate the side of her neck when she falls asleep (especially if she's wearing a tank top or short sleeve shirt). I knew I needed to do something before we spend 6+ hours in the car on Friday.

Now, some brilliant person has already created the concept of the "car seat strap cover," but what fun is buying some when you can make your own?

Here are my instructions on how to Make Your Own Car Seat Strap Covers
I apologize ahead of time for some of the camera battery died in the middle of production and I had to use my phone for the rest.

You will need:
fabric - I chose a soft "minky" fabric for the outside and a plain ol' boring cotton fabric for the inside.
(optional) Batting or some other stuffing-type material (polyfil, cotton, scrap fabric, the neighbor's cat...)

1. Measure your car seat straps above the clip, length and width (IMPORTANT: be sure the clip is in the appropriate place your child wears it. You do not want the cover impeding the proper use of the car seat straps).

My strap width was about 1.75" - I rounded this up to 2" (I call this the "Isabella factor" - gives me room to make a mistake with no real harm to the project) and added an extra inch to accommodate the Velcro.

On the length - I added only a 1/2" to accommodate the seams (no room for error on this one - yipe!)

No, I did not embroider some weird arrow motif on her seat belt. Those arrows indicate where to measure.

2. If your fabric has an obvious directionality (like this godforsaken lovely choice I made), decide which way you want it to lay as a final product. Also, it is a good idea to do test runs on a scrap piece of fabric to figure out the correct tension for this project (if your machine does this automatically...then I hate you).

3. Cut out 2 pieces of the cover fabric and 2 pieces of the underside fabric.

See that pizza cutter-looking thing? That's my new rotary cutter. *swoon*

4. Pin fabric, right sides together and sew, leaving an opening on one side (for turning).

Who uses a white pin on white fabric? Really...

5. Clip the corners (it will make the corners less clumpy) and turn your fabric right side out.

Now, onto velcro...

6a. Attach Velcro pieces to each of the long sides (on the underside fabric).

To each his own when it comes to exactly how to attach the Velcro...if you've got a tried and true way to do it, then go for it. I personally did a basting stitch down the middle (red arrow) then went back and stitched around the outside (removing the basting afterward).

Note: I decided to put the Velcro in such a way so when closed it would be more like a clam-shell around the belt and not looped around to the underside of the belt. I didn't want unnecessary bulk under the belt, both for safety and comfort reasons.

Ah, my seam ripper. We have such a love-hate relationship, as you will see later on.

6b. Remember when I told you to do a scrap test for tension? Well, I didn't (do as I say, not as I do). It took three tries and a lot of hand cranking to get that friggin' lovely Velcro attached to the project.

(Behold! The Blur of Frustration!)

(Everyone, this is Betty. Betty - everyone)

6c. Don't get in a fight with your seam ripper. He will always win.


7. Originally, I decided against doing any kind of filling because the fabric was plush enough not to need it. However, I thought a thin layer of batting might make things a little more comfy for the slumbering child. So, this part is completely optional - especially if you are using a wonderfully soft, plush fabric for the outside.

Note: I did not secure the batting to the project in any way. Yes, I realize the "afterthought" batting will eventually shift and clump after washing a few times. I can always open it up, replace it, and tack it down in some way. No biggie.
(Eeeew. My nails look gross. Gotta do something about that...)

8. Stitch the openings closed.

9. Hey look...the *grumble, grumble* Velcro works!

10. All done and ready to use!

A preview of posts to come

A list is needed. There is just so much ready to come flying out of my brain:

- A tutorial (of sorts) on car seat strap covers

- How aesthetics ruined my wrist forever

- People and their words (or - How a Punch in the Face Wouldn't Be Enough...)

- My true thoughts on having another one

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tools of the trade

I've been trying to formulate a complete thought about my new purchase, but it keeps coming out like...


Translation: Went to the fabric store yesterday. Got a rotary cutter, mat and ruler. It's a relatively inexpensive purchase, but it makes such a difference. Seriously. I don't know why I didn't get one sooner.

Ahhh...I love it.

So, if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I'm buried under a pile of perfectly cut pieces of fabric (or I've been horribly injured in a drinking-and-quilting accident...which is more plausible).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Something has been bothering me

When I first created this blog, I made the decision to allow "anonymous" comments. My thinking was that anyone (in particular family and friends) could leave comments on my blog posts without having to create a Google account, if they didn't already have one. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. The couple of anonymous (which I shall keep in quotes because, really... you are never anonymous online) comments I have received were from people who felt it necessary to spew their ignorance on my site. So, even though ShankRabbit loves responding to these "anonymous" comments (and I loved reading it), I've decided to get rid of this option.

So, in a completely related tangent/rant, here I go...

If you are going to make a comment - whether online or in real life -

Own what you say

Plain and simple.

Some additional thoughts:

- I welcome other people's opinions. Many times I learn a great deal about the topic at hand through the other person's words...other times I discover more about my side of the argument. All I ask is for you to be educated about what you say - do your homework.

- I hate the phrase "no offense." Plain and simple: If you didn't mean it, you wouldn't have said it. And if you inadvertently offended someone with your words: a) apologize and b) choose your words better next time.


That feels better. Now, onward!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

That is one ugly rainbow

It may not be pretty, but it's true...
(thank you for sharing the link, Scriptor Senex)

Your rainbow is intensely shaded brown, yellow, and white.

What is says about you: You are a deep thinking person. You appreciate quiet moments. People depend on you to make them feel secure. You're good at getting people to like you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cake or death?

I've talked before about my general dislike for any kind of bug in the house. We had our issue with spiders, silverfish (though, if it's anything like last summer, this will only get worse), and the occasional odd bug here and there. It's an old house, what can ya do?

My husband, the keeper of my sanity and "do it yourself-er" extraordinaire, got a pest control product for me us last weekend. We have yet to try it out, but I'll let you know how it works.


So, while I'm daydreaming about someday being able to relax in our TV room and not have a silverfish fall on me (ew. ew. EW!), I notice a strange dead spot in the landscaping on the side of the house. At first we thought it was damaged from the bad rainstorm we had a week or so ago, but upon further inspection, it's an ant colony. A LARGE ant colony.

After surveying the rest of the property (it's not big, so it didn't take long), we noticed at least three other areas of the yard where the little buggers have destroyed the grass and set up shop.

Now, I've said before that I don't mind bugs when they stay on their own turf (read: outside)...but this is excessive. They are destroying the lawn and creating more work for me in trying to keep Peanut from smashing and playing with ants (good thing she hasn't taken to eating them...yet...).

I asked the Google gods how I could get rid of an ant problem without going chemical-crazy. Of course, it returned a lot of answers. I'm not sure how effective these are, but here are a couple I found interesting:

- Sprinkle grits or Cream of Wheat around their colony. They will eat it and eventually die of starvation (it expands and they can't digest it).

- Pour a few gallons of boiling water directly over the colony.

Geez. I'm not trying to extract top secret information from them; I just want them to leave. Do I have to resort to torture?

I know, I know, they are just ants. But doesn't this seem...extreme? I guess it's better than sprinkling chemical death on their abode. And I'm sure politely asking them to take their business elsewhere won't work either. Though, maybe if I asked the queen herself...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick Thursday Update

Me - still injured
Daughter - napping
Husband - working from home (because of injured wife)

I'll update more when I can move a bit more.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I spoke too soon

How many times have you said or thought:

I spoke too soon...

Situations like this happen WAY too often for me.

Case in point: I posted a picture on Twitter of my wrist brace with the statement "how I spell relief" (old repetitive motion injury + caring for 2 children yesterday = P.A.I.N.). I was sitting in our TV room thinking how wonderful this new wrist brace is and how I am feeling pretty good today (even with a crappy night of sleep). And here is where the phrase comes in...

because at that very moment, after merely shifting my position on the couch, I wrenched my neck so bad that I crumbled to the floor. The pain began at the base of my skull and radiated down my arm (of course the same one with the wrist brace on it...because the wrist issue wasn't enough already).

After the tears subsided a couple minutes, I called the "King of All Remedies" (also known as ShankRabbit) and asked him what I should do to fix this. He gave me a list of things to do and told me to call him if it doesn't get any better.

So here I sit - well-stretched, medicated, hydrated, 'vitamined' with a heating pad on my neck.

And I'm going to keep my mouth shut.


And this footnote is for the brother-in-law: please shower your wife with thanks from me. The homemade heating pad she gave me for Christmas is my new best friend.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Maybe my thumb isn't so green after all...


Remember this post where I updated you on the progress of my first attempt with growing herbs? I was hopeful, excited, proud...

Well, I'm sad to say they all bit the dust. The first to go was the oregano (well, it was never really there) followed closely by the basil. I even bought another envelope of basil seeds and tried again. No go.
Today, I decided to toss in the towel on the cilantro and chives. There are sprouts, but they didn't get much farther than that.

Chives - they want to go back in the soil

Emo cilantro

Maybe I should just visit our local farmer's market and get seedlings. That way I'm only responsible for keeping it seed work required.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's what you say...

I was lying in bed, wide awake, listening to the hacking sounds of my husband. I had several thoughts cross my mind -

It's been well over a week and this cough isn't getting any better. I know he's a stubborn butthead and thinks his immune system will work this one out, but it's taking too long. It's 5am and I want to go back to sleep. Should I say something? He's due for a physical anyway. It's really important I word what I say in just the * right * way. Saying "GO TO THE DOCTOR ALREADY!" might come off as harsh. Hmm...

I mulled over my exact words for at least 15 minutes (remember, it's 5am. I'm not too bright this early in the morning).

I lean over and gently rub his back. Then I say, "Babe, I love you..."


"...but your coughing is annoying. Please go to the doctor."

Eh? Pretty good, huh?

Moral of the story: If you say something nice, throwing a "but" in the sentence negates the niceness. Or so I'm told.

This led to him feeling guilty for being sick and acting snarky and slightly defensive this morning. Hmm...wonder why.
Though, he did agree to go to the doctor...just to shut me up.


For those that don't follow me on Twitter (if you don't, just do it already - I'll even provide the link to make it easy on you. Here ya go!), you may not have heard about Peanut's "nap hair."

Our child started off with a basic fuzzhead. Observe:

It took shape as a beautiful, naturally swooped 'do:

We thought for sure her hair would be sparse for a long time, but out of nowhere her hair started to grow. A lot. We've now got a crazy little mane going...and you know what? I adore it! The best part is what we call her "nap hair."

Recipe for hair goodness: add one tablespoon of heatbox child to a heap of crazy sleep antics. Let bake for 2-3 hours. Voila!

I am not amused.

Now, at first I was calling her "Flock of Seagulls" girl. But, after reviewing their photos, like this one...

I realize I did not do my daughter's hair justice. It would be better described as the lovechild of Rick Astley and Lyle Lovett's hair. Am I wrong?

Or all three? ((shudder))

And what does mom do when Peanut wants to drape a scarf on her head? Tie it on and take pictures, of course!

"Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match..."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I just have to get this off my chest

If you are not in the mood for a ranty, crazy post...then you can skip this.

Rant in the first:

I was just about to read Peanut a book before nap time when my cell phone rings. Some Chicago number I didn't recognize popped I decided to ignore it and continue on with the naptime routine. Just as I'm putting Peanut in her crib, my cell rings again. Same number. I run out of the bedroom to answer it.

It is a general rule in our family that if you call 2 or more times in a row, it's really important.

Caller: "Hi, this is Lola from [some weird company name having to do with products]. Is this Stitch?"
Me: "Um, have the wrong number."
Caller: "Is this [recites phone number]."
Me: "Yes, but I'm not Stitch."
Caller: "OK then. Good bye."

After I hang up the phone, I notice I have a new voicemail. Lo and behold, Lola left a message...for Stitch.

So, not only did Lola not listen to the voicemail greeting (where I clearly state my name) but she proceeded to call right back to see if I would pick up.

Normally, not an issue...except when my child is about to go down from a nap and the sound of my cell phone makes her jump up (she thinks daddy is calling).

Rant in the second:

I could go on for pages about my beef with "stupid drivers." Be thankful that I am sparing you from this. I will only touch on what's bothering me right now -

1. If you are in the left lane of a multi-lane freeway and are not paying attention to where you need to exit...please don't cut off three (busy) lanes of traffic because you are friggin' idiots (yes, plural. More than one person decided to do this in front of me today). I have a child in the car and God help you if you hit me.

2. Solid white lines in a construction area mean STAY IN YOUR LANE, DUMB@SS!

[photo (minus text) courtesy of Washington State Dept. of Transportation]

Rant in the third:

If you, the cashier, are ringing up my items and I tell you that something you just scanned was incorrect according to the sale display...DO NOT show me the price tag and say, "but the price tag says $5." Yes, genius...I saw that. But the 10-foot ad above it said $3.50. To further solidify why you are employee of the month, you gave me one heck of a look and an audible sigh after asking "do you want me to have someone check that price for you?" and I said yes (let me add, the store was dead). You don't even have to move from your station. You flip a switch, someone comes over and checks on the item for you.
Save the 'tude for someone else.


Thank you for letting me get that out. I've been having a great day, but there are just some people...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I can't call it "giving up"

For those that don't know me, I can be one stubborn sonofa' (shut yo' mouth!).

The term "give up" doesn't enter my vocabulary.* Ever. It just doesn't.

So, while loading Peanut into her carseat on Tuesday after our last stop in the "errand" train (drop ShankRabbit off at work, return CDs to library, mail project #2 for Craft Hope and the recall pieces), I happened to glance down at what I was wearing - baseball cap, glasses, no makeup, old t-shirt, my red "Guard" hoodie, jeans (the ones with the safety-pinned zipper) and beat-up flip flops. That's when it really hit me. I won't call it "giving up" as a) I don't use that term, remember? and b) I still have some clothing standards (e.g. I will never leave the house in pajama pants)...but...I've fallen into frumpydom.

When I was pregnant...heck, well before that even, I swore to myself this wouldn't happen. I was never a fashionista, but I made sure I was somewhat presentable on a daily basis. Now...well, now I'm just kind of "meh" looking.

ShankRabbit and I had a pretty good discussion about this. And we came to the conclusion that I'm not necessarily clueless about how to dress well, I just don't have the items to do so.

So, now that my body is pretty close to where I want it to be (I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight, but apparently I left my @ss in the delivery room, because I can't find it), I can start investing in staple wardrobe pieces...and go from there.

We'll just see how this goes.

Here is the frumpy me (I can't believe I'm actually posting photographic proof of this):

Back in the day, when I "tried":

Were you expecting a serious, "good" photo of me? BAHAHA. I just had to post this psychotic-looking photo from our honeymoon that I found in our archives.

* I'm sure ShankRabbit would jump at the chance to say I "gave up" when it came to driving his MINI (stick shift). I know how to drive manual...but the power behind his car scared me. So I rarely ever drove it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cute baby attack!

My mother-in-law bought this dress for Peanut a while back. Unfortunately, it never really fit (elastic midsection = uncomfortable fit for Buddha belly), but I decided to have her wear it for a few photos...just so we had photographic proof how cute she looked in it (before packing it up in a storage bin):

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I guess I should be flattered...

...but I'm not.

Doorbell rings. It takes me a while to answer the door (I was upstairs with Peanut). Mr. Door-to-door Salesman, who was halfway down the stairs, turns around and sees me with Peanut on my hip and says "hey...are your parents home?"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Calendars and popcorn

Just a short post thanking Blogger for being my calendar.

I had to call our insurance company regarding an incorrect bill we just received. I could not remember when I got my MRI done (even though they have my file pulled up, apparently they need specific dates).
I couldn't find it on our fridge calendar, my purse calendar, or our Google calendar (you'd think with all these calendars I would have found it). Thankfully, I wrote a post about it - on April 23rd.


In other news...have you ever heard of coffee popcorn? Not coffee-flavored popcorn...this:

I found this "popcorn" in our new bag of java today. Just sitting on top of the other beans...all weird like.

So odd...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kenmore Mini Ultra

I'm posting this meme for the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog. So, if you really don't want to read all about my lovely sewing machine, then skip this post.

Photo courtesy of You think I'd take a picture of my sewing table? BAHAHAHAHA!

What brand and model do you have?
Kenmore Mini Ultra

How long have you had it?
About 3 years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I think I bought it on sale at Sears for $50-$80.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
Clothing, stuffed animals/dolls, bags/purses, baby gifts (bibs, blankets, burp cloths), baby shoes

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew about 3-4 hours every other day. I would say it gets a moderate amount of wear and tear, but I maintain it pretty well.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I like my machine. It's very easy to use and small in size. Her name is Betty. :)

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
All of the basic features of any machine - a good amount of stitches, easy to use, etc. Nothing fancy.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
There is nothing super exciting to tell about it...other than I got it because I wanted to make my own veil for my wedding.
Oh, and I once thought it was possessed when I would turn it on and it would start sewing right away (turns out my fabric bin was on the pedal).

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Definitely. It is a great sewing machine for beginners or for anyone who is looking for a straight-forward, "no frills" machine.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
I think it's very important to look for a machine that is going to suit your specific needs, not just go out and buy one because it has all the bells and whistles.