Sunday, May 20, 2012

Let's Go Fly a Kite!

I went to meet a friend for coffee and some knitting time this morning, but with a high approaching 90 on a beautiful sunny day, we just couldn’t stay inside. We went for a walk by the lake and came across a kite festival! We spent all afternoon there and got way too much sun, but it was such a great time! Events like this certainly make me LOVE Chicago.
It was such a treat to see so many families out and about. It is a beautiful day when little girls and boys are running around with cotton candy and ice cream, and daddies are working hard to fly the highest kite for their little ones.

After being out in the mid-day sun for about five hours, I was so terribly burned! My summery strapless dress gave the sun a blank canvas to paint pink. I didn’t even think about putting sunscreen on before I left home because I was planning on spending my afternoon in a cafĂ©. Also, I have managed to convince myself year after year that I have olive skin that never burns. Wishful thinking perhaps? Hopefully I have learned my lesson this time so the sun doesn't have to humble me yet again. 

In trying to heal my pretty pink face before I go back to work on Monday, I have learned some pretty sweet techniques for healing sunburn apart from the standard Aloe Vera. Here are just a few of the natural remedies I found.
-Apple Cider Vinegar (What can’t this stuff do?!)
-Milk: apply with a soaked washcloth or make a paste out of dry milk and just a bit of water
-Used tea bags (When I was in college I kept my used green tea bags in the fridge to put over my eyes for a few minutes in the morning after short nights of sleep to keep the puffiness at bay)
-My absolute favorite: plain yogurt
I remembered taking soothing Aveeno baths when I was about 6 years old and had chicken pox, so I added a little oatmeal to my plain yogurt and made a facial! Hubby thinks I’m a little coo-coo bananas for putting breakfast on my face instead of in my belly, but I think it’s ingenious! After leaving it on my face for almost a half hour, the redness almost completely went away and it feels SO much better! I'm thinking I should try it all over my shoulders too!

Hopefully, we won’t have any more sunburns this summer, but if we do we’ll be ready! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Knitting In the Neighborhood

Today was my day off and another beautiful day brought another opportunity to knit/read in the park with hubby and kitty. We laid out our blanket on top of a hill that overlooked the distant downtown skyline. Theseus found shade under our sheet.
 I finally remembered to take some photos of my knitting! These are hubby’s long-time-coming socks. I’m so happy to have them done, and he loves being able to wear them yet when the evenings get chilly.
The piece underneath the socks is a chunky, squishy wool blanket that I decided to start last week. It mocks a traditional quilting technique called “log cabin”. Although it looks quite simple, I’ve been able to learn some new techniques and refine others. It uses some beautiful single-ply Peruvian Highland wool yarn by Cascade called Magnum in all of the colors of our living room!
Creating a home in an apartment when we have limited time, space, and resources, and given my love of making everything myself has been a slow and sometimes challenging process. There is still a lot about our apartment that looks like we’re just a couple of college kids. I hope to change that overtime by scattering more and more personal, handmade touches throughout our home.
In addition to personalizing our home, I adore having the ability to create my own wardrobe with nothing more than my own two hands, creativity, and some beautiful fiber. This pretty pink alpaca/cotton top was finished last summer but I haven’t managed to photograph it until now! This is a pattern by Rowan called Martha from their Homestead Classics publication. 
Theseus was being a silly kitty and trying to scoot away so I had to hold him while hubby took photos. After taking pictures, we realized that Thesie was desperately looking for a litter box. He’s such a gentleman of a kitty. He refused to dig in some loose dirt in front of us. Rather, he just held it until we got home. No accidents this time! Good kitty. He was a bit dramatic though. Such a pose! I love Hubby's face here, trying not to laugh at our poor distressed kitty. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Day In the Park with Theseus

The weather has been so beautiful these past few days! Hubby and I took Theseus to the park to get some fresh air while I knit and he read.
There were puppies wrestling each other
Little boys kicking up dust
and baseball games

Theseus was not nearly as excited as we were – a scaredy-cat for sure. He stayed snuggled tightly in the corner of his carrier
 When we took him out, he stayed very close to me and seemed quite skeptical of his surroundings.
 He thought my bag might be a safer place to be, right on top of my knitting of course.
 When some puppies came over, he quickly squirmed his way under everything in my bag
 Perhaps Daddy could make him feel better
 Maybe not...
 What a goof!
 Back to the bag for safety
 We wanted to see what he would do if we set him down further away from us.
 That slinky little guy snaked his way right back to us
 and hid inside of my sweater
Oh our sweet, silly kitty

 Needless to say, he was happy to go back home in his little safe haven...
 Off we go!
When we got home, he jumped out of my bag with stinky little brown nuggets trailing behind him. Yup, he pooped. Oh well, it was a great excuse to scrub the floors and give Theseus a bath!
He loves the fresh air from our windows, but perhaps we'll have to give him a taste of the outdoors in smaller doses from now on. Such a silly Thesie. It's a good thing for all of us to get outside of our comfort zones now and then. Even kitties!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Baptism and Ramps

Last weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to visit my family again and celebrate my niece’s Baptism! It was a beautiful celebration. My brother and his wife hosted their first big family gathering at their new house! It is a stunning home and even with 30+ people there, it was as comfortable as could be. How could a home with handmade touches everywhere, surrounded by lush woods and rolling hills be anything but comfortable?! I am so happy for them. God has certainly been pouring out blessings upon them.

As always, I seized the opportunity to spend some time in the woods that I grew up in. After several inches of rain had fallen, the woods were saturated with color and water. The creek nearly looked like rapids! Dad and I walked together, looking for ramps and morel mushrooms. I think these are called ramps anyway.
I don't know much about these at all except that they grow in Dad's woods, they taste like something between an scallion and a chive, and they are so delicious! We found patches of these all over the woods, but no luck with the morel mushrooms.
A patch of ramps
Walking through the woods whenever I visit is such a well-anticipated blessing! The beauty, serenity and live music are great, and God's glory is proclaimed and demonstrated everywhere I look! There is truly no way to not know that God is the great Creator. Romans 1:20 states, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Holly (the frisky German Shepard in the photos above) stirred up a mama turkey from her nest!
Umbrellas in the backyard
Remnants of last year's apple harvest
Soon to be wild strawberries!

I hope you find some time to marvel in God's glory and learn about Him through his creation this week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tennis in Lakeshore Park

As I mentioned a little while ago, Hubby has been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and playing tennis a few times a week. I met him after class for dinner downtown a few days ago, and I stayed a while longer to watch him play and meet his friend, Christian. I love watching him play. He is so talented and I can't help but admire how well he can balance school with everything else he loves.
 The court was in a small park downtown, next to the water. It was such a beautiful scene to be snuggled in between modern skyscrapers and some of the original architecture of Chicago, and yet surrounded by greenery, a running track, a baseball diamond and soccer field. The bustling park was nestled in between the Northwestern University Medical Campus including the beautiful Montgomery Ward Memorial Building, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
The beautiful, historic Montgomery Ward Memorial Building and the Prentice Women's Hospital
The only thing that could possibly make the whole scene more perfect is knitting! Of course I brought one of hubby’s socks along.
These socks are made of some gorgeously soft natural alpaca that hubby found at the 2010 Jefferson Sheep and Wool Festival. As soon as he felt it, he requested a pair of socks out of it. A year and a half later, he is finally getting his socks.

Theseus is doing just fine! He has been especially cuddly lately. With Hubby studying for finals and me being gone much of the day, he hops up on our laps as soon as he sees an opportunity. Here is a photo taken from my computer – Mama and kitty all snuggled up on my day off. 
I hope you take some time to snuggle up today too!