17 August 2014

Our Vacation

And Re-Writing History! Okay our Vacation wasn't history changing, but what we saw will change the way history books are written. I can't believe it has been 3 weeks since we went on our very small trip of 2 nights away to the northern part of Greece.
The Heart is our Home and the Box is where we went.
  What I love about traveling is:
  • Seeing Historical Sights
  • Seeing Natural Sights
  • And Eating!
We had plenty of food to eat, first stopping for lunch at the mall in Thessaloniki for our bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken (we eat this any time we are there).  Then we ate dinner in Asprovalta, calamari and tzatiziki (if you need a tzatziki recipe you can get it here).
 Enjoying Calamari
Yes, I get 2 Ice-Creams!
The shop owners offered the kids ice-cream and they of course said Yes, but it was a Mastika ( μαστίχα) flavored, which is pretty good in ice-cream form, not sure how to describe the taste, but this is something they only make in Greece, specifically Chios Island. The next night we enjoyed Gyros in Nea Peramos
I don't have many pictures of the beaches, since I am always in the water.
This is near Nea Peramos, the beach is called Sand Dunes (but in Greek)
The 2 places we stayed at are starred and the little teardrop is where the find of the century has been discovered.
The signage at Amfipoli
The top sign says Macedonian Tomb, we wanted to see it, but when we crossed the road, there was nothing there, the nicely paved road turned into a dirt road.  We thought the Greeks must have gotten the signage wrong, but what it is is something that they didn't announce till this week.  They have discovered a new tomb to rival that of Vergina.  Here is an article in Greek(pictures are nice) and here is a smaller article in English(my husband and I have been arguing all week about who is buried there). Amfipoli (amphipolis-Αμφίπολη)  is an Ancient City, if you have watched the Movie 300 with the Persian King Xerxes, this is where he was defeated.  And where Alexander the Great's wife and son were executed. (I believe they are the ones in the tomb)  My husband thinks that Alexander the Great is in it.  We can't wait to find out WHO is inside, I also believe that Alexander the Great's mother could possibly be inside.
Ancient Aqueduct.
Rolling Hills and the river meeting the Sea.
The most popular sight of Amfipoli right now is the Lion, it is right off of the old road from Asprovalta to Kavala.
The Lion Monument, was found in 1912 and rebuilt in the 30's.  I am using this as my color palette and the story behind it and the region Amfipoli to Design my Surface Pattern for my class that I took with Bonnie Christine at Creativelive.
I made this on Adobe Illustrator, aren't you proud.
The class was great, you can take it too, I watched it live, from 7pm to 2am for 3 days to see it for free.  But you can pay just $79 to watch it anytime.  I was a little scared when on Friday we didn't have any electricity all afternoon and then boom at exactly 7:05 the electricity was back on, phew. Now I didn't know anything about Adobe Illustrator and it is a definite learning curve, but the I would have been really lost with out Bonnie's lessons.  The other cool thing is that you can use the Illustrator for FREE for 30 days.  Sign me up right, I have always wanted to make my own fabric line. (you will need to sign up for Adobe first and then the Creative Cloud and then you can download Illustrator for free) You can find more info on the Design Surface Challenge from Bonnie's web site, Going Home to Roost. Of course no trip is complete with out some fun!

10 August 2014

Vote For My Liberty Shorts

And a Book Review and my entry for the Shorts On the Line Challenge.

This is my first time making a pair of shorts, or any type of pant for that matter.  I have only made little skirts and dresses for Kat.  I have the book Sew Classic Clothes for Girls, by Lindsay Wilkes.  The book is beautiful, the pages are turn worthy, but the patterns, not so great and the instructions are the bare minimum so not very good for a beginner seamstress.

First problem, measuring the child, she doesn't give a diagram on how to do this, so when I measured Kat, I thought I must be doing something wrong, because her waist measurement came out at 28", not even the size 10 clothes have a waist measurement of 28" (they are a 25"), but her height, weight and chest measurement came out to a size 6 year old (my daughter just turned 4)  So I did the pattern for a 6 year old.

Second problem/(it's nice but also a pain)  Is that the patterns are on a CD, so if you want to know how much fabric you will need you need to plug in the CD to look up how much yardage is needed for what and she uses a lot of embellishments like trims and she does not give you the amount you need for those.

Third problem, when you print the pages for the pattern, she waste a huge amount of paper, look at this small pocket, it could have easily fit on one page, but she has it on 2 and you also waste the tape taping it together, I skipped making the back pocket just cause I didn't want to waist the energy in cutting it and taping it together.
One part of the back pocket pattern.
Another issue with this pattern in particular "The Vintage Ruffle Capris/Shorts" is the shorts line is right on the actual page line and it is very hard to see your size line to cut, they are not colored and the lines kind of all blur into one.
My scissors are pointing at the line that I am supposed to cut and then I am supposed to tape that little tiny piece of paper to the page above, come on now, so freakin' ridiculous.  I actually made my cut a little longer cause I felt that if I cut on any of these short lines, if my daughter bent over you would be able to see her underside.
I also didn't like the placement of the cut line for the age 6 for the sides, again very small, so I just drew the line on the other page and called it good.
My finger is pointing at the cut line for age 6 to add to the other page.
Now after all of this and sewing it together, which was a breeze, best part of the project is how easy it was to put together.  It didn't fit Katerina, I am so bummed, since I used the lovely and very expensive Liberty Tana Lawn fabric for the accent of the pocket 
 And Ruffle on the bottom.
Katerina is a little sad too, because she helped me pick out the solid to match, Cotton Couture Peony,
Cotton Couture Peony
Cotton Couture Peony
Cotton Couture Peony
and we went to the button store together and she picked out the ones she liked.  I think I will be doing a whole lot more sewing for her, because she had so much fun picking out everything and I enjoyed watching her ponder colors (the fabrics) and sizes (for the buttons).

I have now started the Craftsy class, Kids Romper Revamp, this class is awesome, I have only watched the first 2 videos and I have already learned so much!  Like you don't cut the patterns, nope, no scissors, you fold the paper under and butt them against each other and make one big pattern paper, then you lay it out and trace over it with tracing paper!  And so many other hints and tips, I should have watched this first, really go and buy it and watch it!  She also teaches you how to Adapt the Pattern to fit your child, which I guess I need cause these cute shorts didn't fit Kat, she really does have a big bumm and belly, they couldn't even fit over her thighs.  Shelley of Kids Romper Revamp will show you how to measure your kid and adjust the pattern, so happy to give these shorts another go and get the correct size.
Please come and vote for my shorts, on this one you have to log in to vote, sorry about that, but I would love it if you heart my project, Thank you.  Voting continues until 6pm EST on Thursday, August 14
Linking to August Craft Book Sew Along

08 January 2014

The Best Chocolate Cake EVER

I am going to preface this by saying, I don't really like chocolate, gasp, horror, whisper "but urr a girrl", Yep, I am not really a big fan of chocolate.  My husband buys it all of the time for the kids and they scarf it down like it was going out of style, but the only chocolate I really eat is a Snickers bar.  But NOW I am a FAN, a big one...

"Oh Me Gosh" big letters OMG!  This is just the most fantastic thing to slide down your taste buds.  The texture, the moistness, the fudgy gooeyness, you will find the recipe HERE.  I got it last year from my friend Linda (her house burned to the ground this summer, so be sure to say something nice to her) and didn't make it until today.  It is her Grandmama's recipe and she is 105 years old this year, and if that doesn't convince you to eat more chocolate then I don't know what would.

Are you still here, go, go, get the RECIPE.
Make the cake!
Eat the cake!
and try to Share!

I don't have any pictures to share, we ate it to fast ;p

18 December 2013

USA

A Quick overview of where we went.

Flew into Denver and spent 3 nights recuperating to the new time zone:

Took a road trip down through Alamosa, CO. to Tres Piedras, NM and spent the night in Taos, NM.
Then drove on to Albuquerque, NM, spent a few nights there and visited with an old College girlfriend, we went to the Zoo, lunch and back to her house the kids had a blast playing with her kids, first real day of there holiday.
Drove through NM, to the Four Corners and then to Monument Valley, UT, spent 3 nights there.
Drove to the Grand Canyon.
Spent only 1 night, because the next morning we woke up to snow.
Nik loved it, Katerina, not so much.
So we decided to head to Las Vegas, NV through Kingman AZ and Hoover Dam.
Enjoying a homemade Root Beer float in Kingman, AZ.

At Hoover Dam.
2 nights in Las Vegas, NV.
View from Hotel Room

A Little PuttPutt in Circus Circus Casino and Hotel.
Then spent a fun in the sun filled week in Southern California at the SoCal Caprons.
All of the Caprons showed up for a great Thanksgiving week, it went by way to fast, so much fun, loads of photos and videos to share of this week.
Even Mom made it down.
Left Saturday and drove up Hwy 1, spent 1 night in Cambria.
Then continued to San Francisco, spent 3 nights, met up with Cousin Lettie and little Jesse.
Last day was spent doing what the kids liked the most of thier trip, THE PARKS!

Don't worry there are more photos coming, it just takes a lot of time, wanted to do a quick trip recap.

Total Mileage: 2,800
Total Days: 26
Total States: 6
Memories: Priceless!

And the Car that did it all!  Even the rough roads of Utah.
A Dodge Grand Caravan @ the Tres Piedras Post Office.

19 August 2013

Our summer

I made a card with Shutterfly, super easy and very cute.
We have kept very busy this summer with lots of play time outside, the kids are getting bigger and we need to get them some bigger bikes, but with the big hills here we are afraid that there will be lots of bruises and bloody knees, so we will wait till next summer before getting them bikes.  Of course Katerina would really like the pink Minnie Mouse motorized moped, lol.


5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

23 July 2013

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

THE GOOD

Last Wednesday, Arthur had a business meeting in Ioannina, a city 1 1/2 hours north of our town.  It has a population of 112,000 and is next to a lake, but the best part is the IKEA, just a little outside of the city.
So the kids and I went along and had fun at IKEA while Arthur did his business, he came in for a few minutes and we had an ice-cream, the ice-creams are so good at IKEA, yummy.
I forgot to take pictures until the last ice-cream was being eaten, by Nik
Then we put the kids in the play ground that they have there, it is the first time Kat could go in, since she just turned 3.  How long did she last you ask? 
I was within hearing but out of sight, she called me over 5 times before finally deciding to come out, guess how long she was in?

15 minutes, wow 15 minutes with out her mum, a record for sure, lol.

So while Nik continued to play, Kat and I walked around IKEA, doing some shopping.  Just as I was at the counter to pay, they phoned me to pick him up.  He was inside for an hour.

We then went to the cafeteria and I bought the kids meal for 1euro, it was pasta with sauce and a juice and then when you exit you can get another ice-cream.  I only bought one meal because I could see the kids would probably not eat the pasta, it looked dry and gross (it was).  At the counter the guy asked me if the kids were sharing the meal I said yes and he gave me 2 tickets for the ice-cream that is a 1.20 price so I walked out making .20cents from IKEA, lol.

The kids played some more in the IKEA cafeteria play area.
Hey look, this is the first dress I sewed for Katerina :)

Then we exited the cafeteria and went out front waiting for Arthur, the kids drew a little but then Nik got upset because the Ikea employee took away the glue, that he was playing with so to quiet him I bought another ice-cream,  have you been keeping track that is 3 ice-creams.  Just as we were finishing the 3rd Arthur arrived.

THE BAD

On my list of things to buy was the IKEA clock (love it, only 2 euros) and a frame.  When we were eating our first ice-cream we sat at little kid tables and Katerina talked about how soft the wood felt on the table and chairs.  So I debated with myself, buy the kids the Table and chairs or buy myself 2 Expedit units to make an IKEA knock-off sewing table.  Right now I sew at the dining room table or on my hands and knees downstairs at the coffee table (so uncomfortable).  Well of course I picked the kids first and bought them a crafting table, ie. eating table (right now Katerina is using it to put a diaper on her baby/ Now they are playing doctor with said baby doll).
  When we brought it home it had 1 wooden dowel at the wrong size, it was too big.  I thought it would be easy to go to a hardware store and pick up a smaller one, little did I know they don't have these things at hardware stores.  So then I thought to cut it, but Arthur wanted to call IKEA (he blamed me for buying the table and it already having something wrong with it) and have them send us a new hardware pack.  I talked to the rep and it was a difficult conversation, so I just got a hand saw and cut it to the right size, easy peasy, no problem at all.  See it looks great!

THE UGLY

The next day after getting home from IKEA, Katerina came down with a sickness.  A fever of 103 and vomiting.
  She didn't eat all day Thursday and I had a pretty rough night with her vomiting and constantly getting up.  Friday the fever continued so we took her to the ER in the evening, they could and did nothing, only checking to make sure it was not strep, it wasn't.  She even threw up right there in front of the doctor's.  We came home, she slept a little better but still hadn't eaten anything all day.  Saturday saw her still sick with fever and Saturday night she ate a little and the fever went down, but on Sunday morning she woke up with a rash all over her face, back of ears, chest and back.  Freaked me out, so we took her to the ER again and they said it was just her body getting rid of the fever.  Today is Tuesday and she still has a little bit of the rash on her back, but the face is clear.  The fever has broken and she ate some on Monday and this morning she had some breakfast.

What pisses me off is that some parent thought it would be a great idea to bring their sick kid to IKEA and get other kids sick.  I mean HELLO, if your kid is sick please don't bring them to a place to play with other children, it would be pretty hard to ignore the warning signs of this sickness, Kat was pretty listless.  In fact I even think I know what kid was a sick, there was a little girl playing close to Katerina in the toy kitchen and Nik was on the other side of the room.  The mother was right there at any time she could have warned me that her kid was sick and I would have moved Kat away, but did she, nope.  We kept Kat home and only took her to KokaRoka on Saturday for lunch and she played outside for the first time Monday night.  Greek parents are so inconsiderate they have this thought that if they go out the kid will rub his sickness off onto another kid and they won't be sick any more, REALLY, I am not making this up.  I saw plenty of this example from when Nik was in school.
Greeks were the ones who invented medicine (most medical terms are in Greek) but the last 1000 years have not existed for Greeks in the medical world, they still don't know about germs or viruses, idiots the lot of them. (if you have read this far, wow).

06 July 2013

What we Ate for the 4th

I am happy to say that we celebrated the 4th of July with some great American Way food, courtesy of our local LIDL super market (LIDL is a German super market company with 10,000 chains across Europe).

Here is what we picked up from there.
Some frozen Pizza's and Chicken Nuggets
I had no idea that Curry was American, lol :)
My favorite part
This is a pint of cookie dough ice-cream, cost 2.70euro, a smaller size of Ben and Jerry's can be found at the other super markets for 7.20euro, like a really small tiny thing, the pint is 12 euros.  CRAZY!

I also found, A Taste of USA, Cranberry Juice.
And this cute tin holds American Steakhouse Seasoning, I might have to go buy some more just because I like the tins.

The kids ate the nuggets.
We ate the Pizza's.

Of course no American meal is complete with out Coca-Cola, and please read this Arthur is very proud of how much Coca-Cola Greece makes.  It is the World's second largest Coca-Cola Anchor bottler.
Our little chocolate lover, loved her brownies.
How was your 4th of July?