Thursday, June 30, 2011

MIL=Mother in law

Yep, I acquired a new role in the past couple of years. I am a sister, wife, mother, and now a mother in law. My two oldest kids are married and I am a proud mother in law to my son in law and daughter in law.  This is another part of life where there is no manual or instructions. What is a MIL to do?

Just like when my first child was born I had all sorts of crazy ideas about how I was going to raise MY child. Foolishly I proclaimed,"My child will never watch TV, not even Sesame Street.” I was so naive.  Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers saved my sanity most afternoons as my kids were preschoolers.

Well, I had similar naive ideas about being a mother in law.  Initially, I thought it was just like adopting two more kids.  I thought my 3 kid family turned into a 5 kid family. Well. . . it had but not exactly. My new in law kids were all grown up and had a mommy and daddy already.  So the mom hat didn’t fit.

Over the past few years, I’ve learned my MIL job. It’s really simple.  I love and give unconditional acceptance to my in-law kids.  They are wonderful and special.  They love and are devoted to my young’ins. I cherish them. They have enriched the Bell/Sailstad clan in so many ways. Thanks Katie and Josh.

I came across this article,What Makes a Good MIL?  It’s a primer for the learning the ropes as a mother in law. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Done=Summer Dress Challenge

I  forgot how much I enjoy sewing.  My recent adventures into weaving, knitting and spinning took over much of my creative time. I hadn’t sewn for a long time. Making clothes for myself fell by the wayside years ago.

It has been fun renewing my sewing skills and reenergizing my love of sewing.

I intentionally chose an easy pattern. Easy pattern means quick project completion. The most difficult parts of the pattern were the interesting  y-shaped straps on the dress back.
I took time to draw out the seam lines onto the fabric

Carefully snipped the inverted points to get a smooth finish

I lined the top with a purple broad cloth.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Study: How 'Fake' Fats Can Make You Really Fat

I am determined to lose some weight. More specifically inches. My expanding waist even amazes me.  How did this happen. It was a slow process. Gradually, the inches appeared until I can’t comfortably wear my summer pants. Major bummer.

One thing I thought I had been doing that was calorie wise was eat Skinny Cow bars. But it got to be a Catch-22. I’d eat one and find after I ate it I craved another one. My sugar craving energy remained high.  I thought about eating a Skinny Cow bar most of everyday. Weird! So I stopped those suckers cold turkey.

Fortunately, this is the best time of year to watch what I am eating. There are so many fresh fruits and vegetables at the markets.

My waistline is making progress toward its former self. thank goodness.

This article talks about how artificial sweeteners do not help us lose weight. The article helped me to understand the Skinny Cow=sugar craving phenomena.
Study: How 'Fake' Fats Can Make You Really Fat

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Dress Challenge

Found a pattern from Burda. Could download the pattern. 
Woot, woot! It’s amazing that I do not have to drive to a store to get a pattern.
 Online shopping rocks! 

I haven’t sewn for myself in ages so I decided to sew a muslin copy first. I only need to do the top piece.  The tiers won’t be a problem.

Fit was good with a few adjustments.
On to cutting out the batik fabric. . . 
to be continued

Monday, June 20, 2011


Here’s a great article with tips for becoming a better listener.

The writer caught my attention when she said we learn to read and write but we aren’t taught how to listen in school.  That is so true and I have never thought of that before.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Challenge = Summer Dress

My latest challenge =  What to wear when it is so darn hot.  I have a tried and true floor-length sleeveless dress that I got many years ago. Unfortunately it has seen better days.  I slip it on after showering or returning from a day at the beach. Its cool to wear. Best of all it simply hangs and is loose. AND it doesn’t look like an old lady mu-mu.  So I need to replace it and haven’t found any ready to wear options. I’m pulling out the old sewing machine and going to SEW.

My inspiration came from Hancocks of Paducah.  They put  a bunch of batik fabric on sale.

Here’s the fabric I chose.

Next finding a dress pattern.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Much Water Do You Drink?

Water. I’ve alway had this thing about water. I love it. I love to drink it. Bathe in it. Swim in it. And sometimes simply gaze over a pond or stream.

Most of us drink liquids through out the day, of course. But unfortunately, sodas, coffee and tea are not what the body needs. It needs adequate water to be fully hydrated.

Did you know your brain is like a giant water logged sponge? When we don’t drink enough water, our brain can’t do its job as well. Will drinking more water help me to remember where I left my keys? Maybe.But it certainly can help me feel healthier.

Years ago I learned that the correct amount of water one should consume a day can be figured out simply. Take your weight and divide it in half. That number is how many ounces one needs to drink daily.

So say you are 120 pounds. Divide 120 by 2 equals 60. So you should drink 60 ounces of water a day. That about 6 glasses of water a day.

Here is a really cool way to track how much water you drink a day. It’s a free printable list. Check it out at Wild Olive Blog.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fairy Tale Wedding

Isn’t this a hoot? 

Friday, June 10, 2011

How Many Friends Can We Really Have?

According to "Dunbar's Number," human beings can maintain a network of only about 150 close friends.  Robin Dunbar is a professor of evolutionary anthropology at the University of Oxford. 

Dr. Dunbar tells how a company with 150 employees remains a close knit group that is more productive and a better place to work than a company with more employees. This research substantiates 'bigger is not better.'

I first noticed our culture's trend to 'largeness' when the mega-schools arrived in the 1990's. My kids were in elementary school then. They did not have cohort of friends from one school year to the next because there were 8-10 other classes at each grade level. The feeling of the school was  anonymity.  Dr. Dunbar’s work speaks of our human need to be know in a community, a community that is of no more than 150 people 
NPR's Rachel Martin interviews the professor and the interview can be found here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


The dresser is complete. It turned out nicely. It even has brass plates on the key holes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Half way there

Conclusion of morning session with dresser

Wow, all that white paint is almost gone.
The big surprise is that the oak is tiger oak. That's cool.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nannie's Dresser

My daughter was given an antique dresser that came from her  great-grandmother's. It was painted white. We always suspected that it was made of oak underneath.
I volunteered to refinish the dresser.  Here it is after it's first application of stripping gel. That stuff is gross. I had to use my industrial strength gloves

I found out stripping a well painted dresser is not an easy feat. It took a couple applications of stripper and lots of scraping. I could feel my biceps protesting after a couple hours.

What is looked like at the end of the first day

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pesto Making Day

I couldn't resist. My first crop of basil is ready. I planted lots of basil this year in order to make pesto sauce. The amount of pesto sauce I put up last year hardly lasted through the summer. I put in 10 plants a while ago and they are ready to harvest.

I spent the morning in the kitchen. The basil yielding 12 two ounce containers of pesto sauce. They are all sitting on the top shelf of freezer. Yum!

It's time to transplant my new basil seedlings into the garden for second harvest.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


There is nothing in this world more fun than taking a piece of cloth, I have woven, off the loom and finishing it.

I LOVE how these turned out.

The only thing I'll change in the future is make them smaller. The pattern has them finished at 22 X 40. Way too big for me.