Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Honda Fit

When we left Arkansas, Evan sold his old blue Buick so that he could drive our moving truck to Maryland. Our plan was to get a used car to replace Old Blue (something without a hole in the gas tank). After a few weeks of looking at over priced old clunkers in random people’s driveways, we decided that it might be a better use of our limited funds to just bite the bullet and get a new car. We looked around online and at local dealerships and finally decided on a Honda Fit. It is the #1 selling car in Japan. (This is the only selling point I needed to know when making my decision. Thank goodness Evan is a bit more thorough.)

We absolutely love it. We got the basic model, silver, automatic transmission. I’m not a car person, so I can’t speak to the car features or any other tech kind of talk. I just think it’s cute! The gas mileage is OK, but not anything to brag about for a car so small. We are averaging 32 miles per gallon, but at least it takes regular gas unlike my old Benz. The thing that I love the most about the Fit is that it will “fit” in any sized parallel parking spot in the entire District of Columbia. Evan and I negotiate on a day to day basis for who will get to drive it. I know that Old Blue meant a lot to him, so I try to be understanding. I just can’t help but want to go cruising.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

No Sew Fleece Blanket

Even though we did get my sewing machine out of storage, I opted for a quick no sew blanket to take as a gift to one of my best friend’s sister’s baby shower. At Nicole’s baby shower in Arkansas, a friend of hers made her one of these fleece blankets and I fell in love with how cute it was. It is so easy to make, that it took me less than an hour. I bought two yards of no-pill fleece in a checked pattern to make it easier to measure as I went. The mother-to-be’s baby décor theme are frogs and fish, so this fabric find was perfect (and on sale since it is summer time).

Here’s what I did:
1. Cut the fleece fabric in half so that you have two pieces the same size and line the two sides so they match as a top and a bottom.
2. Cut 4 inch deep, 1 inch thick strips on all four sides. Cut out the corners (4x4 inches).
3. Knot the top and bottom strips together along all four sides and your done.
**The trick that I learned by the end of the project is to not tie the knots too tight or the blanket will get bunched.

I have some other fleece that I’d like to use to make a second blanket. The other patterns that I bought do not have the checked lines, so it will be a little more challenging to measure and line up correctly. Now that I have one blanket under my belt I think I can get it straight. These are so adorable and can be made in all sizes. Hand made gifts are always so nice and I’m glad I found one that is easy to do but still thoughtful.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Treasures from Michigan

Casa de Greenwood

For the past two years Evan and I have taken a summer trip to Michigan to visit his family. We stay at his parents house in Kalkaska and enjoy get togethers with family in the backyard. This year we got to do a lot of tourist type day trips that we hadn’t done on previous visits. We went to see to Torch Lake and had ice cream, went to Traverse City and saw the cherry spitting contest at the National Cherry Festival, went to see Sleeping Bear Dunes and crossed the Mackinac Island Bridge.

My favorite day trip of all was to Mackinac Island. Me, Evan and his parents, Jane and Bob, took the ferry over to the island and had lunch on the main strip. There are no cars allowed on the island. We rented bicycles and rode the 8 mile bike trail around the entire perimeter. Evan and I rode a tandem bike and didn’t kill each other, which I consider a great success since I’m not much of a bicycler. The weather was absolutely perfect for a day spent outside wandering. After our bike trip we walked around the middle of the city past shops and restaurants. We walked up to the Grand Hotel, but didn’t get on the property since it was $15 to walk on the porch. Next time we go, we’ll have lunch there. As we walked through the city, horse drawn carriages and bicyclers passed us by.

At one of the little shops I found this treasure:

It is an umbrella napkin holder (sorry for the crummy picture). When I was little my grandmother used to teach me how to fold dinner napkins, so when I saw this, I thought of her. One is going in the mail to her as soon as I can get myself to the post office.

We had a really nice time exploring Northern Michigan and catching up with the friends and family in Kalkaska.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Settling In

I am starting to feel a little more organized here in Maryland. We are still flopping at Mom’s house in Annapolis, but are slowly developing routine in our day to day. The kitties have found their favorite spot under the dining room table gazing out the sliding glass doors. The backyard is like cable TV to kitties. There is always something going on. There is a squirrel that digs in the mulch for what seems like hours while Buzz and Bubbles sit totally mesmerized. Us humans are carving out our spots as well. I have a small office area set up in the master bedroom. The boxes of our clothes and kitchen appliances are starting to seem like part of the dining room décor. Thank goodness my mother is so patient. In the time we have been on the east coast we have been able to catch up with friends, buy a new car, take our yearly trip to Michigan, start my new job and fix my mom’s gutters. There have also been trips to the beach at the end of the street and Evan’s first time crabbing. It has been a pretty productive month, I must say. Now that I am starting to settle into the new job, we will find Evan a job and start to search for Home Sweet Home. I am hoping to start posting more regularly now that I have my space organized. I have had a number of really nice inquiries of when I plan to be back on the blog. I will be attending some baby showers and birthday parties in the next few weeks, so I hope to have some hand made gifts to share. I also plan to get my new sewing machine out of our storage unit this week so that my Mom can show me the basics. I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer. More to come soon!