In an effort to build my cloth diaper stash, learn how to sew and fill my need for handmade things, I’ve made my first pocket diaper for my little guy. I keep forgetting to photograph him wearing it but it fits well, is the size it’s supposed to be and pretty easy to sew! It’s my second pocket diaper – my first one was tiny, and looks more like a speedo. I may try it should I ever have number 2 – it may work in the newborn phase.

Anyhow, here are some photos of this latest make:



Diaper Cover

Oh the world of cloth diapering is a big one. People have stashes, collect prints, and easily spend serious coin on their cloth.

Me? I cloth diaper. My son has only ever been in one disposable. I cloth diaper for the cost, it’s better for my son’s sensitive skin (he reacts to disposable wipes even), the environment, and it’s cute.

But I don’t have the time, energy or money to spend on that cute WAHM* diaper on Etsy, the latest design from the big names etc. I found a brand that worked for me, and mostly stick to it.

But, I am resurrecting my rusty sewing skills. So, since I have the supplies to make a diaper cover, that is what I did today. We needed more. If this works, I’ll do it again.

I used some fold over elastic (someone please tell me why the Babyville Boutique packages don’t have enough to go around the entire medium diaper pattern from their book???) for the legs and the gusset and the back. But the package didn’t have enough to go around the whole way.

I used a few tutorials on YouTube to help me out, and I made it a hidden PUL cover. The outside is quilting cotton I had, and I got one cover from one fat quarter. I sewed the two layers together inside out, turned it and then added then top stitched. I discovered part way into the Fold over elastic step that there wasn’t enough to go the entire way around, so it’s a bit crooked. Next time I’ll buy regular elastic and make a casing for it.

Anyhow, it’s fairly beginner, but tomorrow I will test it out and see if it does the job. If so, I have a lot more PUL (white and patterned) to use! Maybe eventually you won’t be able to tell that my handmade ones are home sewn…


* work at home mom

And a highly computerized machine…

It has been a while, hasn’t it!?!?

I haven’t known what to write and I haven’t felt like I’ve had a solid direction. Not to mention I’m crazy busy. More about that later.

Anyhow, for my birthday my husband (yes, there has been many changes!!) gave me a fantastic sewing machine (my expert sewist mother-in-law also was in on the gift and directed the excellent choice!).

I have wanted a machine more up to date than my vintage machine for years! Why? Well I have always admired those who can construct and fit their own clothes! I took a sewing class in junior high and hope that with online tutorials I can master the techniques I need.

I’ve found clothes hard to fit (a full bust adjustment will become my friend!) and dream of a wardrobe of well fitting clothes and perhaps a bit of freedom from store dress sizes. Sigh.

As a first project I made a cute bib for my son (yes, I’ve experienced MANY changes), with a great deal of help from my mother-in-law. A second project was a notions bag for my knitting.

I hope I can make wearable scrubs too!
Maybe one day I will have the guts to buy pricey fabric and make an amazing dress or six…






The house has been nicknamed “The Castle”.  A close friend, while helping us to demolish the house (READ: help the guys demolish the house while myself, mom and mother-in-law, shopped for a wedding dress), commented that the house is a brick house and is surrounded by a moat.  And so “The Castle” was born:

Front View: Our House Inspector Hard at WorkThe Back View: Ugly Porch and Bushes

But before we even closed on the house we took down the ugly porch that was in the back. SUDDENLY the house was brighter:

The Ugly Porch: Unsafe too so we had to take it down! So much brighter and more open!

We started with a 1950s/60s kitchen, that is now GONE:


UGLY laminate panelling that I took down the day after we closed on the house:

A gutted ugly 1960’s bathroom (I cannot WAIT for my soak in a new deep tub and the ability to step onto nice WARM floors):


The plumbing is replaced, the electrical will be finished tonight, hopefully, and next week the insulation guys and drywall guys are coming.   Things are progressing!  Now we are at the stage of picking tiles and flooring stain colours.


When I think of where I have dreamed my life would be it always included a family, a home and community.  When I was living in Vancouver, I had the community but the home was a small apartment and I did have family. My family is quite large, most living in the Vancouver-area, and we are quite close.  But that is not (only) the family that I mean. I meant my family: husband and children.

I also had trouble envisioning how having a home would work: housing prices in Vancouver are STUPID.  Vancouver is a beautiful city. I love it dearly, and loved living there. But, even as a two income couple, I can’t imagine how we would be able to afford a home.  Since I was curious, I went to one of the real estate websites for Vancouver and input our purchase price to see what range we would have been looking in and the choices we would have had (staying in the area I would have preferred to live – without a horrible & long commute) and I could have purchased a ~600 sq ft apartment, not unlike what I was living in before I moved. That place was TINY: perfect for me, but much too small for two of us. We are in a two bedroom apartment now ~825 sq ft and we have no space for anything. Never mind adding kids to the mix down the road.

So, life as I have written about in the past has led me to another city: we have found our dream home here, my future family will be from here and community is growing. Finally, on Feb 7th we closed on the house! To begin the steps of making the house “home”, enjoy the wood burning fireplaces (one of them at least) and give our friends a glimpse of the house in its “BEFORE” stage, we had a Housewarming S’mores Party.

The biggest gift I received was from two close friends from Vancouver, they drove down and surprised me with a visit. I have never felt so loved as watching them walk through the door. It was even better as she had called me that morning to tell me how sad she was that the party was on a Thursday and they couldn’t get off work on Friday! Sneaky friend!

The day after we closed, I had the pleasure of ripping off the ugly wood panelling off the living room wall.  It was a delight to be able to begin to transform this long-unloved home into my home, OUR home, the one we will hopefully be in until we are too old to stay there.

To come: Photos. I want to find a photo sharing site where I can link (and have the photos show up as a slideshow) without uploading it directly to wordpress.  I’m also hoping I can use the same link to show the photos on Facebook (so that I don’t have to organize and upload photos more than once), and I am hoping that way I can just email the link to those who don’t come to the blog or have a Facebook account (yes, they do exist).  Stay tuned (and comment if you have any photo sharing site opinions… I am hoping for free).

January isn’t quite over and we aren’t in our house yet, but it is time to start planting. I have started some seeds: onions, leeks, beets, tomatoes and eggplants.

So here is a photo of Garden 2013, day one:


Stay tuned for more garden photos and updates as we progress towards my ultimate goal of eating only produce we grow. Is this an attainable goal? I am not hoping or planning to achieve this goal this year but will work towards it as time progresses.

Potluck Etiquette…

This may be a bit of a rant, and perhaps it’s a good thing that I no longer have regular readers — sadly the only people that seem to come to this blog are those who find it from an online search that happens to pull up a particular post.  Perhaps I should start publishing posts to my facebook and twitter. I’ll think about that for a bit… Step one is getting back to posting regularly…

So on that note, onto the topic at hand. Potluck Etiquette…

I have noticed in recent months, when a potluck food party is being planned and the ‘event’ is posted on Facebook there are comments posted such as…

“this house is now gluten free, please plan accordingly” … or …”guests, X, Y, Z are following the paleo diet so please only bring food sanctioned by that diet”… or … “the host is lactose free so please don’t bring anything with lactose”…


Now, I want to note, I am not discussing this from a perspective of whether a host should have alcohol or not at a party. That is their prerogative.  Alcohol is a controlled substance, and there exists legitimate addiction to this substance.  I am also not talking allergies, legitimate allergies, that is!  If a person’s allergy is so severe that they experience an anaphylactic reaction, then I am all for keeping them away from the product!  If their reaction is so severe that they cannot be in the presence of the item, then let’s keep it out of any house they visit.


What I’m talking about are those people who are choosing to follow a particular diet, or who choose to cut out a particular product from their diet (perhaps due to preference, a sensitivity or intolerance or even an allergy -YES, allergy – that they only experience if they eat an item). I certainly believe that it is important that they be given the information they need to make appropriate food choices – so let’s plan to label food we bring to potluck items so people know if a product contains meat, diary, wheat, eggs, soy etc…


But with the caveats I have mentioned is it really necessary to limit your guests when it comes to what they bring to a potluck? Sure, for balance it’s nice to make sure not everyone is bringing a dessert, but is it really necessary to state that for all items that are being brought said food must be wheat-free, or dairy-free, or even meat-free? I’ve been finding that most potluck-related invites I have seen lately have been that way.


Conversely, When my family has our annual family christmas gathering, it’s potluck and there is all sorts of food there. DF (who doesn’t eat red meat) doesn’t request that everyone avoid their favourite red-meat recipes. Rather, he sees that there is (for example) meat in the chili and when he finds out that it is beef, he just doesn’t take any, and reaches for the chicken instead. Likewise for the meatballs.


Yet, I’ve seen invites where people will post “I have a dairy allergy, please don’t bring dairy” and another person “I don’t eat wheat, please don’t bring wheat”.  Are people okay with this? Is this the new normal? Again, I can understand “I will have an anaphylactic reaction and will not be able to breath, please don’t bring nuts anywhere near me”, and I can understand “I am allergic to dairy, please label your food with an ingredient list so I can see if it’s safe to eat”.  But to put an all out ban on something for a large party? That seems a little extreme.  If I am cooking dinner for DF, myself and another couple and the other couple is vegetarian, I am not going to make a roast chicken.  Likewise I wouldn’t use dairy in a similar context. But if I am having a party with a group of people, I think it’s fair to make sure there are alternates arriving that everyone can eat (by perhaps having the people with food restrictions bring food that they are able to eat) and to ensure people are prepared to write up a little note card outlining what’s in the item.


I was invited to a party recently where wheat (actually, all grains containing gluten), diary, eggs and meat were on the “do not bring at all” list.  So, fine, we can respect that but it made me realize how odd it was to watch as different people piped up with their food preferences and how that increased the ‘do not bring’ list.  So my proposal is this: Let’s have a ‘potluck item labelling station’ and a party where anything goes for food.  Anyone with a specific diet restriction can plan to bring something that fits in with their diet plan, and those who don’t have restrictions will do what they like and we can all just enjoy ourselves.


And for the record I have a bona fide dairy allergy. It’s been tested and documented and it isn’t just me choosing to have a food restriction because it seems to be the cool thing to do. I hate this allergy, LOVE dairy, and am terrible about limiting dairy, so I face the consequences on a daily basis.  ALSO, I never expect that anyone will cater to my diet needs. Good grief, I don’t even expect DF to avoid having cheese in our home just because I *SHOULD* avoid it.  I am an adult, I can make my own choice about what I eat, no one forces it down my throat.  If I am at a party and the cheese looks amazing I choose if I take it or skip it, and if there is pasta with a cream sauce I say ‘no thank you’.  I never expect that anyone will set up a party that is 100% dairy free just for me.


So, friends… for the next potluck party I am attending… if there is a unilateral ridiculous food ban (that isn’t alcohol or due to a severe anaphylactic allergy as some can be)… I may just bring an amazing-tasting item that contains whatever is the item of protest. It will be in my own serving dish – with utensils (so it doesn’t contaminate anyone else’s dish/utensils unless it’s by choice), it will be well-labelled and it will be up to each adult present to make their own choice as to whether or not they should choose to eat said item.  That is if I don’t just skip the event entirely out of the insanity of this trend!

<End Rant>