Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Grinchy Shmoogle Bean who can't be bothered with Christmas...

Well it still doesn't feel like home here but at least the tree is up. Both hubby and I are just feeling so crummy about Christmas this year we contemplated giving it a miss entirely, but we'll try and make the best of it; it is Baby Bean's first Christmas afterall! I thought putting the tree up might help a bit and it has... kind of. I'm just used to sharing at Christmas time and we have no one to share with here. No one to make my annual little gingerbread houses for :( It's that time of year that I most enjoy sharing with others and the feeling just isn't the same without friends. Everything in my life seems so scrambled at the moment, I feel like such a Grinch. What kind of person wants to cancel Christmas on their first child?! Regardless of how old he is? You know how lame I am? I went to all the trouble of handmaking my Christmas cards this year and guess what? I haven't finished making them for everybody, I'm missing over half of my lists' addresses and I've put stamps on the ones I HAVE done but still haven't posted them. Can I just hibernate until the New Year?
Bah humbug!  

Thursday, 28 November 2013

How did THAT even happen?!?!

Ha! Blogging with my left hand whilst breastfeeding Baby Bean! Winning at life lol

That awkward moment when you think you've finished the amazing glittery shawl you've been doing these past two days, you lay it out and realise you've made a bit of a booboo in your over-tired medicated state... Tried to unravel it to fix it but the sequins make it impossible. It's fixable but it's gonna be a pain in the arse! GAH!

I find this very appropriate in this situation...
How did THAT even happen?!?!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Unfinished Business

My current projects on the hook! Of course it would probably make sense to finish one before starting another... especially when I now have 4 on the go at the same time (not counting ones still packed away in boxes from the move!) whoops! You know how it is ;)
This one you might have seen in yesterday's blog post... my chunky thick rainbow ripple throw in progress... this one has been great for hooking! The thicker yarn means it works up like a dream! The variegated yarn makes the ripple pattern hard to see BUT I do love the different texture and colour pattern than if it had just been a DC back and forth design.

Whilst I was in Albury I actually started working on hexagon 'squares' for an afghan. I've never actually made an afghan with squares before, I usually work them up in a one piece because the idea of joining a whole load of bits together seemed like WAY too much effort. So what do I do? Use up to 3 colours per hexagon so now I have a whole load of tails to sew in as well! I'm not too worried though, my desire to see how it will look once completed is fuelling my persistence with this project... for the time being anyway ;) 
The project on the lounge beside me is a new one I only started this morning. I had about seven 50gm balls of this lovely soft green yarn with sequins and I thought, how gorgeous would this look made into a shawl? Well I couldn't help myself, I started right away! I've only gotten a little way into it so far, I got distracted by watching Calendar Girls.
The last of the 4 projects I started right after we moved here. You see, our Christmas tree and all the decorations we'd collected over the past few years are actually in a shed back in Armidale. I thought it might be nice to make up a few decorations for our new tree (once we get one that is) myself. Our family Christmas tree back at the parent's house has decorations that belonged to great aunts and grandmothers, so it's important to me that as we lead into celebrating our first family Christmas with the hubby and Baby Bean, there are handmade ornaments on the tree.

It's hard to say whether I'll actually finish any of these, I would sure like to for a change! To feel like I'm actually achieving some little goals seems like something I'd really benefit from at the moment :)

It's a gorgeous windy overcast day outside today, with the air conditioner on in here it's reminding me of Armidale and I'm finding that very comforting. I wish I could adjust to living here faster!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Hello Tuesday!

Well hello Tuesday....

Hello to a clean fur free floor! (for the time can my dogs shed!)

Hello to my baby Bean who is 8 weeks old today

Hello to the possibility of a big storm this afternoon, I'm loving wet season!

Hello cold coffee I made 2 hours ago and forgot about

Hello funky coloured blanket I've been making

Hello from me!


Sunday, 24 November 2013


Why, hello hello hello to you! I've become reacquainted with my dear old friend, the internet! Oh my it's been so long, absolutely splendiforous to be back with you again in the blogosphere. What have I missed?!
I'll tell you what YOU'VE missed.... I moved to Darwin. Yep... we finally did it! And heck what a trip it was too but we're here now in our own home (FINALLY!) and the universe has finally (touch wood) decided to stop slapping us in the face with it's big hairy, erm, ears. Well I mean we're expecting a tropical cyclone later today but on the whole things are miles better than they have been. You know, I'm not even going to recap on all the crapola we've been through these past 5 months it is simply not worth getting myself upset over anymore. Away with the past, on with the future! All that matters now is that we're safe (pre-cyclone haha), our little family is together despite the hinges it's been swinging off lately, we have a solid income again and a whole boat load of new experiences and adventures ahead of us. Nevermind that the boat may be full of crocs, leaking holes and more bad decisions but as Captain Jack Sparrow once said, "the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude towards the problem".

So here we are in the Top End! Enjoying our new life in the ungodly heat, steadily adjusting to the change of pace and of course soaking up the wonderful new experiences of parenthood. Our little Bean is nearly 2 months old can you believe it? He's growing so quickly! We're absolutely besotted with him, he's the smiliest happiest most handsome boy in the whole world.
Hubby is out grabbing hot chips and gravy (absolutely had to test out the nearest corner store... although he just texted me to say they don't actually have gravy FOR SHAME corner store FOR SHAME) and we're really just sitting around OUR house amongst OUR mess watching OUR tv and generally spending the Sunday the way it should be spent. It's so flipping good I'm going to say it again... OUR house! Our stuff, our everything... feels like rainbows and glitter and sherbert and unicorns all smooshed into one big amazeball.

Now you know I haven't fallen off the face of the planet (you missed me right?!) I'd best get back to entertaining my little Bean who is currently talking to his toy monkey beside me in a most adorable way.


Behave Xx

P.s wish us luck for this crazy incoming weather, I'd better not wear my red shoes in case a house falls on me.
P.p.s It's a bajillion degrees outside and I'm crocheting a rainbow ripple blanket. That's perfectly normal! Don't laugh ;)

Friday, 11 October 2013

A new arrival...

Meet the newest addition to the Quirky Bean Family!

Baby Lynton is 8lbs 4oz of squishy loveable perfection! He ended up being 11 days over due so on the 1st of October at 7am I went in to be induced. My waters were broken at 8am and I was started on Oxytocin, I didn't have my first contraction until 11am. As the hours progressed I didn't and bub didn't look like he was going to make an appearance on his own. I stayed 3cm dilated through horrible irregular contractions until late afternoon, it was hard hearing that after so many hours of such irregular pain I hadn't gotten any closer to meeting our baby boy, I found I just couldn't cope any more on gas alone. It was just crushing, the little amount of control I felt I had went out the window and I ended up needing an epidural. For about an hour afterwards I was so exhausted and tried to sleep... guess what happened?! While I was dozing I dilated the remaining 7cms! I remember the midwives telling me to push then the obstetrician coming in...all she said was that baby needed some help coming and all of a sudden things started happening around me. Forceps, an episiotomy, internal stitches, a manual removal of the placenta and 800ml of blood loss later baby Lynton was finally born, put to my chest and oh my the world just stopped turning. Meeting our baby at 7.33pm was the most incredible experience of my life! A part of me is disappointed that I couldn't go into labour on my own, that I couldn't birth my child without needing all the drugs available to me, that when it came down to it I couldn't push effectively enough to bring him into the world on my own but I couldn't have planned for any of it to happen and there was nothing more important than our little guy's safe arrival. Of course then I was stuck in birthing suite until 5am the following morning because the epidural hadn't worn off until then, I was trundled off to a room and from then on our lives changed forever! It's now 11 days post birth and like all new parents we're stumbling our way through it all; even with all the troubles that come with learning to breastfeed, the sleepless nights, the worry we feel over every little hiccup and noise our baby makes, we are absolutely smitten with our son and really, we finally know that somehow everything will just be ok.

Now that he's here we're focused on our BIG move to the Northern Territory in 2 weeks time and somehow planning a trip to see my family before we leave, lots of huge changes are coming our way, lots of new experiences and I'm sure lots of new stresses but to be in our space again with our own routines and essentially having our own lives back everything we've been through up until now seems worth it. Adjusting will be the biggest step for me, and I'm terrified that my depression will sneak back but at the moment, taking it one day at a time is our best and only option.

Welcome to the world, my darling Baby Shmoogle Bean! 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The beginning of a new adventure!

I've decided to affectionately label our soon to be new little family the Quirky Bean Family. From the day we announced to my parents that we were expecting, my mother knicknamed the little blob on the 7 week ultrasound 'Ju Ju Bean', when I was young I was 'Shmoogle Bean' and I guess they both just stuck! Mind you my mother also used to call me Doo Doo Bug but hey, who wants to be publicly known as a Doo Doo Bug? I'm sure it was meant as a loving term of endearment and she wasn't in fact referring to me as a dung beetle. Well that little Ju Ju Bean of mine is now 8 days overdue and driving his mummy and daddy insane with waiting. Every little twinge I wonder if it's the beginning of labour! As it happens Baby Bean is posterior and hasn't begun to engage at all so this mumma bear will be trotting off to the hospital in 2 days time for an induction. Back to blogging!! It's particularly convenient as in about ooooh 2 weeks time, this little family will be packing up their lives again and taking one heck of a long road trip from Albury, NSW to Palmerston, NT with a newborn baby. There will first be a 13 hour trip from here to Port Macquarie where we will spend a week with my family, then from there we begin an 8 day 'adventure' by car to nearly the other end of the country. You see now why this is such a crazy decision?! It's no crazier than moving here in the first place mind you. We came here when we did because we reasoned that moving before Baby Bean was born would be easier than after. HA! Funny right? Trust me, the irony is not lost on us. 

But it's a step in the right direction! 

We aren't the first people in human history to be making such a journey under these circumstances though, and that gives me hope that it can be done. I try not the think about the multitude of things that need to happen between now and when we get on the road because let's face it, who wouldn't have a meltdown?! And believe me when I say I have had more than my fair share of those lately. As I said, it's been difficult. The best we can do is take it one day at a time and work through what needs to be done one bit at a time without looking too much at the big picture. The big picture is a wall sized Pollock/Warhole mash up framed in solid lead and hanging precariously on 3 rusty nails hot glued to the plasterboard. Do what needs to be done and don't think too far into the little things or your brain may explode. Not so much COMPLETE denial, but small amounts to get us through isn't such a bad thing. 

It's been a bumpy ride but we've had amazing outside support from various military personnel, we've had a lot of advice and encouragement come from people who have lived and worked in Palmerston and everyone we speak to tells us that we couldn't have scored a more perfect first posting. My husband was *somehow* (thank the universe!!) lucky enough to transfer straight from a stand-down reserve position into a full time position. Once we got over the initial 'there's no way we can move that far' shock and started to work through the planning process we realised how completely do-able it really is! We worked out a rough travel plan that suited us and got the green light for it, we have a place to live picked out on the other end, we've arranged for all our things to be picked up and moved (handy thing that we were already packed!), we're sorted travel for the two's working! BUT it really does come back down to Baby Bean's arrival. He'll be here no later than next Tuesday but so much of this depends on his delivery and both his and my own health. There is absolutely NOTHING more important right now than getting little Bean here and in good health.  I tell you what, when you've been growing a little person for 9 months and you go 8 days past your due date it REALLY tests your patience and sanity! (You know what else tests your patience? Having a multitude of people ask you everyday whether you 'had that baby yet' or tell you which day would be convenient for his birth... why do people insist on asking idiotic questions to a hormonal blimp? It can never end well)
 We just want to meet you little man! I want to see what colour your hair is, what colour your eyes are; I want to see your tiny toes and feel your little fingers wrap around mine! I want to see you take your first breath, feel your new skin, wrap you up and snuggle you and tell you how much we love you and what a perfect joy you are to our lives. It's all well and good to be told you have a tiny human inside you, it's all fine and dandy to feel those kicks (and when your baby is posterior... you really FEEL them!) but looking down at my stretchmarked mass of bump I constantly find myself wondering how just an inch or two under there is a teeny weeny perfect little baby. It's surreal! 

Everytime we go into town and I hear a new baby cry I have this overwhelming urge to rush to it and comfort it, it's driving me bonkers. I keep having weird dreams about babies and NONE of them are the slightest bit realistic. One night I dreamt that I gave birth to the baby out of Spirited Away!! Every night I go to bed wondering if I'm going to wake up to my waters breaking, or to that first contraction and wake up disappointed the next day. Then to go in for my last OBS check up and find out that I hadn't dilated at all, and that baby is still very high up really dampened my spirits. I was hoping for just a little bit of progress... I've been told that labour can just spring on you out of the blue and take you by suprise, and I've been waiting, but it hasn't happened for me yet. As another day comes to an end I'm getting less and less confident that I'll go into labour on my own. It was just one of those things, you know? It can't be helped of course, whatever needs to happen to make sure Baby Bean arrives happy, healthy and screaming is fine by me. That doesn't stop me from being terrified of being induced of course but I'll manage! 

So there we go, today seemed like as good a place to start as any... right on the edge of all that's about to change! Or on the edge of glory... if you were Lady Gaga. I'm off to, oh wait, no I'm not off anywhere, probably just 1 metre to my left to bounce on my fitball for a while in the hopes that baby might fall out. That's how it works right? 

P.s I see my parents tomorrow sometime, they drove all the way here to visit and to be here for the birth. My mum told me that once they've given me all the squeezes and belly rubs the rest of the family have sent I'm going to look like a half empty squeezed tube of toothpaste. What's life without humour? 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Frozen kiwi fruit and fat pants

As you may have read in yesterday's episode, our bar fridge (which is very unused to having actual food inside it) has decided that even on the lightest setting it's going Han Solo all my food. I used my noodle last night and actually left OUT the cheese and the avocado to have on my breakfast toast so I wasn't trying to manoeuvre frozen avocado out of it's skin with a plastic picnic knife. So that worked out. Do you think I thought to do the same thing with my vegetables for dinner? NOPE *facepalm*

*sigh* It's ok, I cooked my steak and my vegies and am currently having at them with great gusto. I figured since I'd bought some yummy golden kiwi fruits I should grab a few out to defrost in the meantime so I can have them with rock solid ice cream later (hey it needs to get eaten!) 

Ok.. so I sorted out my food problem (again). Now to fill you in... a few days ago I decided that I'd enough of trying to grow my hair and it was time to give it the chop. You know when your hair gets to that annoying mullet length and would nearly be long enough to put in a pony tail if only you were more patient? No? Well lucky you! I got to that stage, and I also got the point where I knew that trimming it myself as I had done for the past 10 or so months just wasn't going to 'cut' it (haha see what I did there). I trot on down to the hairdresser, park my large pregnant-lady arse into those awkward chairs and say 'I don't really know what I want, just something short and manageable that I can stick some gel stuff in and not worry about'. That was evidently the WRONG thing to say. Why? My hair, and to be fair I did ASK for short, is now almost non-existent. This particular style looks GREAT on other people... people with nice figures and angular faces.. not bloated, puffy, put-on-too-much-pregnancy-weight people such as myself. It just does. not. work. And no I'm not going to show you. It's too awful. I plan on living in beanies til it grows out a bit. I was out today doing some shopping and as I had been cleaning my apartment with a friend in preparation to move I was in my fat pants with my absurdly short hair and I rather large belly poking out the front. Now I have no problem with fat pants, fat pants are great! Particularly when you're fat... oh and by the way, on that note, if one more person says to me 'you're not fat, you're pregnant' I will hit them in the face with a wet Halibut. I caught sight of myself in the mirror as I was looking for giant sized knit wear, and oh god. I am too fat for my fat pants. There is no worse feeling in the world than realising you are too fat for your fat pants. I wanted to run away... I wanted to cry... I wanted to lock myself indoors and never have to see anyone ever again. It certainly did NOT give me the confidence to move almost to another state where family (or anybody for that matter) would ever see me. And NO I am not just too 'pregnant' for my fat pants. I am too fat for them. It is downright bloody depressing. As for the oversized knit wear, I bought two giant jumper things in size XL to frump around in. Hey they're warm, and they fit, that's all I'm really interested in. Except in one of them I look like a giant sheep and in the other I resemble a rather large bumblebee. But, as I said, they're warm and they fit. End of story. 

Do you know, it is one of the hardest things to come to terms with when you're a bigger girl and you're pregnant... the hardest thing is coming to terms with the fact that you are not one of those people who start small, grow a bump and snap back the next month after birth. You are curvy and errrm voluptuous to start with, and not overly happy with your current size, then you fall pregnant and find that weight just JUMPS on you from out of nowhere. It is a very difficult thing to accept. It's very hard to be comfortable with yourself and feel confidence. I'm not talking about the bump... I love my bump! My bump is amazing and it's part of me at the moment. It's the other weight that I'm referring to... and if I'm brutally honest today while I was out in my horrid haircut and fat pants I really felt very uncomfortable in public. Even more so than usual. It was a really difficult experience for me emotionally. I do not feel pretty, or that I'm glowing, or sexy, or attractive in the slightest. I honestly felt repulsive, and I stopped a moment to think about how I might feel in another month, or after our bublette is born and I couldn't fathom it at all. 
It's the most difficult thing I'm trying to deal with at the moment... it certainly isn't easy, and I know that for the time being I am growing life and my body will do what it will do and that I have little control over it. I also need to accept that regaining my self image and confidence after birth will be very difficult too, but I am doing my best to take it as it comes. 

Anyhoo, enough with the doom and gloom! One of my AMAZING friends came in today to help me clean our place and it is looking so much better! I'm feeling less apprehensive about the moving out of here part and now focusing more on the next stages of our journey. My husband is currently on the way back from Albury with the now empty truck and it's the realisation that this is it. My stuff is gone! It's in another place, and we'll soon be living in that place. Scaaary stuff! 

Another day down, another one to come tomorrow. Anything after that will just have to wait. Now though I am exhausted, my feet are swollen and I am going to settle down with my freshly-washed fur balls and watch some more Miranda whilst I wait for hubby to get home.

Goodnight lovelies! 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Moving madness update!

Do you have any idea what it's like to pack your entire house in 4 days so all your stuff can get shipped into storage within the week?! I do!! Plans changed last Saturday and the moving truck was booked for Wednesday which meant everything needed to be ready to go. Amidst all the crazy running around sorting out our loose ends here that time went at 'Ludicrous Speed' and before I knew it, it was Thursday and I'm sitting in a mostly-empty unit wondering how the flip to cook my dinner with one tiny saucepan, a fried-egg sized frying pan and no meal bases. Did I think to leave one or two out to actually eat over these next few days?! No... no I did not. Because I am a derp.

Turns out all our copious amounts of crap didn't fit in the truck (whoops!!) so there is still random furniture about the place, the Christmas tree, the sandwich press and other bits lying around the place to go into storage here until we can get them at a later date. Which kind of means if we find a place to rent as soon as I'm hoping too we'll be missing a fair bit of our furnishings. Add that onto the stress of possibly not having a 'home' when the baby is born, the uncertainty of finding a new job in time, the thought of still having to CLEAN this place before we vacant and I am NOT a happy camper. I am minimalist camping at the moment and it sucks camel balls. It really does. I mean I have a bed and a bar fridge with meat, vege, cheese and fruit in it although most of it is currently frozen as the fridge hates me and obviously I have my laptop but geez Louis it's weird and VERY creepy in here! I'm on my lonesome til tomorrow night as hubby is somewhere between here and Albury with the truck to unpack tonight, and come back tomorrow (and holy cow is he going to be stuffed after that drive!). Well I have the puppies, and I have bublette but he isn't much of a conversationalist being in utero and all. 
I was supposed be tidying the place today in preparation to clean later this week BUT I decided a day out was a better use of my time.. so I had a fantabulous day out in the sunshine (and freezing wind) with my trusty buddy instead! We adventured around a pretty stream surrounded by sheep and cow pats, we invented a new pass time which involved sitting under a wooden bridge on a picnic blanket waiting for cars to drive over us (it's freaking awesome by the way!), we raided a candy store of all the sugary goodness and rediscovered a love for Cherry Dr Pepper (Cherry Cola is not nearly as nice) and had a pretty neato lunch. I can probably say that my day was considerably better than the previous days, and it was a much needed break from all the crazy. It does however make me really sad that I won't be here to do it again after next week though :( That part is uber sucky :(

Tonight after I work out my dinner dilemma I'll be doing some cupboard-wiping-out (fun stuff) because I can at least do that now and not have to do it again by next Tuesday (winning! wish more of this place was like that) but after that I'll be retreating into the electric blanket warmed mattress, watch Miranda, eat cherry flavoured candy and crochet some stuff to regain my sanity. Tomorrow I can't procrastinate and will actually need to get things done.


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Off into the wide green yonder...

Heeeey lovelies,
Hubby and I are moving! 13 hours away... whilst I'm 31 weeks pregnant... with 13 days notice...(all the 3's and 1's are a COMPLETE coincidence!). I'VE GONE MAD!!!! I 'spose to most of the people around us this has sort of come about rather suddenly, and really it has but moving has been on the cards for a few weeks now. Damn jobs really do dictate everything don't they? It's like this, our work contract runs out at the end of December this year and for a while we've been desperately searching for a new job to go to so we're not left up a certain creek when bubba bean gets here. It's been a crazy decision to come to, and especially on such short notice. It's either we waited around until our contract ran out and hope for something to come up with a new baby or we take a deep breath and go in search of other opportunities elsewhere before bubba gets here. I'm sitting here today after speaking with our real estate thismorning about breaking our bond with my head spinning and not knowing where to start... naturally I decided the internet was a good option and here I am writing about madness. I keep looking around at everything that needs doing and it takes me a moment to remind myself I'm rather heavily preggers and have some serious limitations on what I can physically get away with. *OH GOD* How is this ever going to work?!?!?!?! 

Annnyway, so we're off to Albury. In 13 days. *Hyperventilating* I'll be ok until this orange poppyseed muffin runs out. Maybe. Some baking may be in order... but dang haven't done the groceries yet. Bummer! Ok maybe not. Pregnant or not it's a huge step to make (and an expensive one) moving to a new place. It's especially hard knowing that the midwives I've gotton to know here won't be there for me and I'll need to adjust to a new hospital and new midwives. As someone who finds new situations quite confronting that is a very scary prospect. I know I'll manage somehow, you do what you need to do, but it doesn't stop those little anxieties taking hold in my mind. We'd just set up our nursery here in Armidale, it was starting to seem more real. I didn't realise how important it is to know that you'll have someplace to call your own, a home, somewhere to prepare for the arrival of a new family member until you're faced with the prospect of not having those things. If the few jobs we've applied for don't come through for us (although I have a good feeling about one of them) it will take longer and longer to rent a place of our own and that is absolutely terrifying to me. It's not like we won't have a roof over our heads, my husband's parents are very VERY kindly taking us in for a short time til we find our feet. I'm not sure if this is my maternal instinct or if I'd feel this way regardless, but I honestly cannot fathom not having my own space to bring baby home too. A new baby is a whole new adventure on its own! I don't know that I would be able to mentally and emotionally handle not being able to left to fumble through those first few weeks without other added pressures. It's so hard to explain, I'm probably not explaining what I mean very well. Of course this was something we had to weigh up as a possibility as part of making this move, but ultimately in the long run this is the best option for our family and we just have to take it all as it happens as calmly as possible. That seems so easy to say. 

It'll be so close to our due date, I am a huge muddle of feelings. Excitement, nervousness, a good deal of stress. These past few nights haven't been without their melt downs, I wish I could sit back and let the organisation go on around me so I wasn't as worried but I just can't do that darn it! 

This should definitely mean there will be lots of new adventures to blog about! :o) So yep...that's what's going on! Time to get up and get into it I guess. I'm not leaving you guys though, I take you with me! Handy thing this internet business isn't it?

Oh lordy where do I start on this mess? *le sigh* 

Friday, 28 June 2013

Hookin' up a storm! Just recently...

I've made a whole bunch of hats for Baby Shmoogle Bean including this baby heffalump beanie (click here for free pattern)
This baby bird beanie (pattern adapted from my own Baby Bird Beanie, free pattern here!)
This adorable little pom pom hat made with scrap yarn
A few simple blue and grey baby beanies (free patterns here)
This simple baby froggie hat
A sweet and simple bumble bee beanie
But it hasn't just been hats I've been hooking! I've also made a few little cardis and jumpers including this super simple striped number (still needs buttons). The pattern is super easy to follow and free! Find it at Deb's Crafts!
I also came across the most adorable little newborn jumper pattern (click here for pattern!) and found I couldn't stop! I've so far completed these two, (well ok so I still need to weave in the ends on one but shhhhhh) and plan to make a couple more in some larger sizes when I can. 
There has also been a bit of charity crochet going on, with a little stash of hats being donated to St Vinnies for the winter. 
I started knitting a random scarf... I'm not sure I really know where I'm going with it but here's hoping it works out alright in the end! 
Then there is this deep plum beanie and scarf set I finished last week
And this rather spunky coloured crochet scarf....
And this crazy coloured scraps crochet scarf...
And this burgundy one....
And after all these crochet scarves there's this completed knitted one...
I also have this completed Bavarian Stitch/Catherine Wheel/Yarn Eater Blanket I finished last's not very big as I ran out of the yarn I was using and couldn't afford to get more but it still looks lovely nonetheless! 
How cool is the flip side? Looks pretty neato both ways really. 
And then right at the end here I have another one I started in blues and whites for Baby Shmoogle Bean 

There you go... that's all the crochet I've been up to lately. It may seem like a lot (or a little!) but it's pretty much the only thing I'm good at. Just the way it is :) 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Eggless Peanut Butter Banana Cake Recipe

I have to say, ever since I tasted my first egg-free cupcake I was COMPLETELY hooked. In my opinion egg-free batters make for a more delicious, soft and moist cake and are JUST as versatile as your regular cake recipes... you can add anything to create the cupcake of your dreams and for some reason they just always work. Now I'm not saying I have anything against the humble egg. I still love my eggies, and I'm certainly not about to start substituting eggs in all my recipes (I love citrus tart too much to do that!!!) but as far as my cake baking is concerned, an egg shalt not grace thy Pyrex bowl from hence forth! Unless you know, there's a really awesome looking one on Pinterest that I just HAVE to make that contains eggs... gotta spread the tasty love right?
So I wasn't entirely sure on the quantities for this to begin with, I kinda just tossed the ingredients in and hoped for the best but it worked! Hoorah! You want to know something funny? For years I had no idea what the difference between baking soda and baking powder was and whenever I found a recipe that contained either, I'd substitute half my plain flour for self raising. Sometimes it worked, but as you can probably imagine most of the time it didn't. I never actually owned any baking powder until recently and now my opinion on it lies somewhere similar to the egg thing.... if you can use baking soda and baking powder in a cake recipe as a pose to self raising I'd definitely recommend it. It just makes the batter fluffier and takes away some of that density that using self raising can sometimes cause. If the recipe actually SAYS to use self raising though I'm going to use it but at least now I can stop skimming over a recipe just because it calls for two things I'd never used or even owned. Foiled by my own ignorance! Haha! But anyway, here's the recipe for a somewhat delicious cakey morsel and I do hope you'll love it as much as I do!

Eggless Peanut Butter Banana Cake
 Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius

1 cup lite milk 
1 tsp apple cider or white vinegar
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/3 olive/canola oil 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sifted plain flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 large banana cut into slices
1 large tbs of smooth peanut butter

Grease and line a spring-form cake tin with baking paper, place banana slices on the bottom of the pan. 

Whisk together milk and cider (or vinegar) in a bowl and set aside to curdle a little. Meanwhile mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. After a few minutes take your milk mixture and whisk in the sugar, the oil, vanilla extract and continue to whisk until sugar has dissolved, oil is incorporated and mixture appears foamy. Add your dry ingredients to the wet in two batches, whisking all the time. Whisk until batter is smooth and lump-free. Mix in peanut butter. Pour batter over bananas and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave cake to cool for 10-15 minutes before taking it out of the pan. Place cake bottom up (banana-side up) on a cooling rack to cool completely. Don't forget to carefully remove grease proof paper from the bananas, could make things tricky if you forget and ice the paper... you don't want that derp moment, trust me.  

125g unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 mashed banana 
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup dried banana chips blitzed or crushed into smaller sized pieces

Using an electric beater, beat butter until it's pale and creamy. Add banana and icing sugar and beat together. You may want to use a bit more or a bit less icing sugar depending on consistency. If it's too runny add more icing sugar, if it's too thick add a little more mashed banana. Ice the sides and top of your cake and sprinkle crushed banana chips over the top. Boil the jug, make yourself a cup of tea and have a slice! 

27 weeks and 5 days ~ 86 days to go! Pregnancy so far

  • Dog fur on everything drives me more NUTS than usual. I cannot stand it! I want to shave my dogs.  
  • Nothing is ever clean enough these days!! 
  • Braxton Hicks have started... and oh my crumpets are they weird?! I get a few in the mornings and a few again at night normally when I have to pee! Or do the Braxton Hicks make me want to pee? Who knows! Either way they're weird. Nothing says 'you're growing an alien' like Braxton Hicks!
  • I still can't stand Garlic Bread EWWWW 
  • Bras are the devil. Not wearing a bra is also the devil. Can't win hehe 
  • I can go from hot to cold in 2.5 seconds and I don't mean in the *wink wink* kind of way. Feeling way too cold during the day, my feet never seem to feel warm and at night I'm too warm under anything more than two blankets. 
  • Bubba kicks all day and it's the best feeling in the world! I love his little wiggles, twists and kicks they're such  beautiful things to experience. 
  • If I lie still you can actually see little feet (or hands!) pushing outwards! 
  • Even though some people think antenatal classes are a waste of time, both myself and hubby found them to be very useful. Yes most of it is common sense but each hospital is different in it's practices and hearing how the particular hospital we are booked into goes about things was a huge comfort. I think I irritated everyone by the end of each day with all my questions! 
  • Still no crazy cravings! Well, not really the kind you see in movies where the woman sends her husband out at 2am for watermelon and Chop Suey anyway. I had one for a caramel latte frappe from McCafe a couple of weeks ago and it tasted like heaven but that could have just been that I was missing my coffees. Any cold dairy product is a win and I usually always feel like cold milk on cereal (I've been having a bowl of cornflakes before bed lately, lovely lovely lovely!), chocolate milk, custard, yoghurt, iced anything = yum! 

Things that now feel like Olympic sports:
1. Washing your legs in the shower/ Drying your legs after a shower
2. Getting into one's own knickers
3. As above with pants
4. Picking things up off the floor
5. Climbing stairs (or maybe that's just me being hideously unfit)
6. Getting out of beanbags.
7. Rolling over in bed
  • I've developed odd little OCD habits. For example I have to wash my hair everyday or I just rage. It's true!! I can't STAND the feeling of unwashed hair against my skin at the moment. Is that weird? I should probably get used to NOT doing that though hey? Other things include not wanting to cut my own fingernails because I can't stand the feeling of a nail file. It's the sound and the feeling, I just hate it! 
  • No heartburn! (yet) Does that mean a bald baby? Or it could have something to do with all the milk I've been drinking.
  • I still get sick in the mornings *sigh* but thankfully so long as I shove some toast down the minute I get out of bed it's all ok... except when I don't make it to the toaster in time. Not nice. 
So far so good actually :) I was having troubles with the information being given to me at antenatal appointments that were causing some stress but just thismorning I was contacted by the hospital and invited to Group Practice which has really lifted my confidence. It means I will see one midwife for the remainder of my pregnancy rather than whoever is on at the time and if she is available then she will attend the labour aswell (although that's not a guarantee it's still very comforting). She then visits me at home after I leave the hospital to check up on me and bub for a period of time. I'm looking forward to finding out more information next week at my next check up but it sounds like it will suit me and make things a bit more comfortable for me (what with the anxiety and all). We are of course still flipping out over the things we still need to buy and wondering how the heck we're going to manage it over the coming months but it will work out in the end. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself... I may lose my mind otherwise!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The ripple stitch and a real bitch

I started this with odd balls from my stash way back before I even knew I was pregnant and only found it again at the beginning of last week... you ever have one of those 'found a project and have no idea what size hook I was using' moments? Yep that was me! I worked it out eventually... I found a photo here actually from when I'd first started it (click here for the post!) and ta da! The hook was in the photo *phew* Oh and in case you're wondering, I only ever got that one scarf made but I donated it all the same :o) I hope someone found it and loved it! Wow thinking back you really wonder where all that time went, I've been told pregnancies have a way of dragging but I'm finding it flying by! That might be because I feel so unprepared, I feel like I need a LOT longer to get everything sorted out but bub will come when he's ready whether I am or not :o)
I spent my weekend working on it, it was meant to be around the other way (horizontal ripples instead of vertical) but I only had the 6 balls to work with and ran out; it didn't matter in the end anyway it fits nicely the size that it is.

Today has been kinda crummy, had to have my glucose tolerance test today which involved a god-awful sugary beverage that tasted like Off! Bug Spray mixed with sugar and wait around in pathology for an hour to have blood taken. In that time I managed to make a small child cry by speaking to him (I'm gonna make a GREAT mum!). After getting home I then had to call the midwives clinic about something you don't want to know about and had a horrid experience with a bitchy-midwife-from-hell.... the way she spoke to me was bad enough but removing/replacing your knickers in front of this woman was absolutely one of the awkward moments of my life. She's a midwife! She looks at fannies all the time! What was so darn fascinating that she had to stare at me the whole time?!?!  Yeah, I know, I realise come birth I'll be half naked and surrounded by strangers but that's not the point.

But anyway... I've likely mentally scarred you now. Sorry about that!
Back to crochet..... Now I'm SURE I have another unfinished ripple blanket stuffed in a cupboard somewhere but I might just leave it there for the time being to be found and worked on another day! Oh and hey, if you did happen to read that post where I first started this project, you'll remember that lovely striped elf hat with the pom pom I'd made? Well it was absolutely perfect for the little fellow it was created for, wouldn't you agree? I sent it home with his parents as a gift :o)

 I am seriously freezing my metaphorical nuts off at the moment (could that midwife SEE my metaphorical nuts? Maybe that was what she was looking at)... it's currently 4 degrees Celsius outside and probably bloody close to that inside our apartment; the hubby, the fur balls and I are holed up in the bedroom trying to enjoy to last amounts of heat radiating from our pathetic little nearly-dead heater. Hunger is becoming a problem and I know we'll need to venture out into the kitchen to cook dinner soon. If I become an icicle and never write again, it's been nice knowing you!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Seashells Baby Jumper Free Pattern

It has been one very dark and dreary Sunday here at Shmoogle Bean H.Q today; cloudy and overcast outside and me with horrible heartburn and you-don't-want-to-know-what-else pregnancy 'side effects'...hubby was out today helping a mate on their property so I had a VERY quiet day. So there I was happily asleep last night when 4.30am hits and BAM I'm awake. And I stayed that way til 6.50am! This pattern is the brainchild of my lack of sleep and was conceived in the early hours only to be very lazily worked on throughout the day to bring you a finally completed pattern now at 5.30pm! It's hard to focus on the uncomfortable side of pregnancy when you're crocheting cute little baby things :o) I hope you'll enjoy this one! Please feel free to sell the finished product, just the usual applies to the pattern itself... i.e it's not to be copied/reproduced in part or in whole anywhere, not to be sold or redistributed, photos are property of moi, etc. 

Seashells Baby Jumper ~ Size newborn to 3 months
You will need: 
4.5mm hook hook
8ply yarn in white
8ply variegated yarn 
yarn needle

Using 4.5mm hook and first colour. 
Chain 52
Row 1: Dc in 4th chain from hook. Dc in next 5 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 9 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 14 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 9 sts, 3 dc in next st, dc in next 7 sts. Ch 3 (chain 3 counts as a st now and throughout), turn. 58 sts 
Row 2: Dc in each st across working 3 dc into middle st of previous 3 dc on last row.  66 sts 
Rows 3-6: Repeat row 2. 98 total stitches at end of row 6
What your work should look like at the end of row 6.
How to fold work to assemble sleeves.
Row 7: Dc in next 13 sts, fold work as shown to create first sleeve as shown lining up the middle sts of each 3 dc cluster. Dc through middle sts on both sides of work to create first armhole. Turn work, dc in next 26 sts. Fold second sleeve down as before, lining up middle sts of each 3 dc cluster and dc through both sides to form second armhole. Turn work, dc in next 13 sts to end. Join with a slip st to top of chain 3 at beginning of row. Finish off. 
Front view after completing row 7
Back view after completing row 7
Using 5.5mm hook and second colour...
Round 8: Join second colour yarn in sl st space of previous row.
Ch 3, 2 dc in same st, skip next 2 sts, sc in next, skip 2 sts *5 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, sc in next st, skip 2 sts* around to beginning. 2 dc in beginning sl st to complete first shell, sl st to top of ch 3 to join. Ch 1. 
Round 9: Sc in ch 1 space, skip 2 sts, 5 dc in next sc, skip 2 sts, sc in top of shell of last row, skip 2 sts *5 dc in next st, skip 2 sts, sc in next, skip 2 sts, 5 dc in next st* around to beginning. Sl st to first sc to join. Ch 3.
Round 10: Repeat round 8
Round 11: Repeat round 9
Round 12: Repeat round 8
Round 13: Repeat round 9
Round 14: Repeat round 8
Round 15: Repeat round 9. Finish off. 
What you should have at the end of round 15

Round 16: Join first colour in sl st space, repeat round 8. Finish off. 

Using 4.5mm hook and first colour...
Flip work over and join yarn in bottom of left side of opening, sc up the side, around neckline, and down right side. Finish off.

Join yarn in armpit of first sleeve, ch 1, sc around opening and join with sl st. Finish off. Repeat for second sleeve. Weave in all the ends and sew two buttons to one side of the opening on the back to complete the project. 

Please enjoy and happy crocheting as always :o)