Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On a sewing roll...

  I have been on a sewing binge the past few weeks. Among the major projects i've been working on, I started a small side business. I call it "handmade by eve" and I make and sell custom baby shoes. Just in case, here's my facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/handmadebyeveyoungberg
If you happen to want some custom baby shoes, just message my page there. :)

ANYWAY. I've also been making other things like dresses for my baby girl, a couple pants for my boy, and a dress for the little girl of a friend of mine. Here's a bunch of pics. The credit for the original design of these dresses goes to the Craftiness is not optional website located here. It's her "Let's go fly a kite" sundress. I love her tutorials!!!

This is a size 2T flannel dress I made for my friends' little girl.

12m fleece dress with a white crochet rose.

12m little dress for church

12m little dress for my baby girls' birthday

And the hair clippie that goes with the birthday dress. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

My new venture!

I've started up a small business! I'm so excited about it! I just saved my new business cards in Word so that I can print them tomorrow morning (our printer is ridiculously loud!). I've had SO many people messaging me with questions and orders! I'm so blessed!
  So, if you don't know this about me already, I'll fill you in. I'm a "crafter". I craft  A LOT! I love to sew, cook, bake, make cards, and a lot of stuff. Since the birth of my baby girl last October, I had to give up my craft room so that she would have a place to live. It was more of musical "chairs" since we ended up moving our son into what was my craft room so that our new baby could have his old room. And just like musical chairs... I lost my spot. So, until we build a new house or move into something a little bigger, I now get a little space in my husbands office. Maybe it's not as little as I'm portraying it to be though. My husband made enough room for me to put my table and my little chest of drawers that is filled with my fabric. Since I was getting downsized from a whole bedroom to a now 5'x5' space, I had to choose what craft I was going to stick with for a while. I chose to sew. The kids will always need clothes taken in or repaired or made, and my husband will too. I had to choose the one "craft" that would be more useful. I guess now, I've made the best of it!
  If you're interested to see my new site I made on facebook for my small business, here you go: https://www.facebook.com/handmadebyeveyoungberg

I am learning as I go. I am especially excited though because my husband took me shopping for supplies the other day! I got some sales order tablets, a small organizer to hold my sales tablet (which also has a little spot to hold my business cards I'm printing off tomorrow!), an expandable file for filled orders, some thumb tacks, some pens, and blank business cards. It totally made me feel like I was going back to school! I remember getting a super fun/excited feeling every year before school started. I would get super organized and figure out what pens go where in my new back pack and what paper would go where in my Lisa Frank binder. Ah... good times. Unfortunately, the feeling would pass as soon as I would get home on that first day of school with a bunch of homework. Oh well. This time (now that I'm older) the feeling doesn't pass. I'm so excited because I'm doing what I really enjoy!
Well, I better get to bed... the benadryl is putting me to sleep, but at least my nose is clear : )

Here's a couple of pics of the shoes I've made:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lemon-Zucchini Loaf with lemon glaze

I've been doing my best to cut out a lot of the excess fat out our diets for the past few months. We've been doing great so far, except when it comes to sweets. I LOVE sweets. I'm sure i'm permanently addicted to sugar. However, thanks to Pinterest, I came across a pin of baking substitutions. One that I've been experimenting with lately is substituting oil with yogurt. After a week of trying to get the proportion correct, and a few mushy/delicious failures, I finally made a recipe that works!!

For the original recipe (which i'm sure is delicious), look here.

Here's my recipe for it:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
3 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
2/3 cup sugar or sweetener
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon 
1 cup grated zucchini 

The directions are the same as the original recipe. So, if you'd like to make it this way, open the link.
I put the lemon glaze on while it was cooling and when it was FINALLY done cooling, I sliced myself a piece and it was DELICIOUS!!!! 

If you cut it in 12 slices, it amounts to about 115 calories per slice. So... PERFECT!!! And if you want to cut out even more calories, leave off the lemon glaze. It's amazing how many calories are in powdered sugar. Maybe next time i'll leave off the glaze, but for now, i'm totally enjoying the deliciousness that is my lower calorie sweet bread.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mmmm... doughnuts...

      I can't believe (again) how fast the time passes! I have been busy doing a lot of things since the 4th of July and there are no signs of stopping. There are the occasional moments when I find myself alone in a quiet house. That's the time between my husband going to work and the kids getting up for the day; I get one whole hour. I have been debating whether I should use that time for exercise or not, but I realize that I have MANY other things that I love to do, but have had no time to do it in. Writing is one example. So many hobbies and so little time to do it in. I have a lot of sewing patterns for the kids that are still waiting to be opened and laid out on the new fabric that has yet to have a pre-washing. At least the temptation to throw everything out the window and make cards has waned considerably since half of my stuff is getting babysat by a good friend right now. I know that someday i'll get a craft room again, but not in the near future.
      Aside from exercising, sewing, and crafting, my passion for cooking has rekindled over the past few months. I looked back at the past few years and realized that my cooking episodes had gotten really boring. I know that I would look in the fridge and stare ate a pile of good cooking fodder and think to myself, "What in the world am I supposed to do with any of this stuff?!" I am telling you right now that it's a good thing that we live too far away for any pizza delivery service (I tried bribing every pizza place when I was pregnant). Since I started my body/eating transformation this April, I have been eating almost every sort of vegetable I see in the produce section. And if you have not seen 'Good Eats' on Food Network, YOU SHOULD! I had seen all the episodes already, but my mind was not ready for such amazing preparation and cooking instruction. Since April, I have seen them all over again... twice. I'm not sure exactly how my husband feels about me cooking so much all the time, but he has yet to refuse anything new. 
      Of all the new cooking skills that I am improving, baking is still intimidating. However, my severe need (or want) of sweet desserts got the best of me last night and I made donuts. I first saw this recipe on The Chew when it aired a few months ago on Hulu. I thought the doughnut itself looked delicious, but the preparation of it seemed a little too hard for me. But last night, the thought of a freshly made warm, fluffy doughnut with a slight crunch on the outside and a thick, smooth, sweet pastry cream on the inside totally got the best of me. My mouth is watering!!! I pulled up my big girl pants and gave it a try. It was surprisingly easy! It reminded me of an episode of Good Eats where the host Alton Brown made a creme puff dough recipe (totally want to try making that now!). After the half hour it took to prepare and bake the doughnuts, my husband and I were in doughnut heaven! I found that I was getting too tired to make a pastry cream, so I made some instant vanilla pudding instead. 
      I realize how fattening donuts and pudding sound, however I worked the recipe down to the least calories possible. I substituted a no-calorie baking sweetener for the sugar, used only 1 tablespoon of oil needed, I did not glaze the doughnuts, and I used a sugar-free/fat-free vanilla pudding mix with homemade almond milk that has 30 calories per cup of milk. It also helps that the doughnuts are not fried, they're baked. I should warn you that in the end it does not matter how few calories are in this dessert when you end up eating all of the doughnuts and all of the pudding in one sitting. Self-control is something I have yet to master. I did have an accomplice though; my husband loved them too. : )  
     Should you feel the need to see how easy and delicious these doughnuts are, here's the link to the recipe after the picture. Let me know how they turn out for you!!

P.S. You don't need a mini doughnut pan to make these. I used a mini muffin pan instead. And next time (tonight), I'm going to free hand them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. : )

Thursday, July 4, 2013

My new self

It's the 4th of July already! Had some fun plans scheduled for the day but we all ended up with a cold. So now, we get to hang out at home together. That's okay though. We were going to all be together anyway. My husband has been training for a long bike ride that is coming up next week, so he left this morning at 4:30 am to get in a 60 mile ride! I can't believe his dedication! I know how much i'm looking forward to my first big ride, but I have plenty of time to train since it's in May of next year.

I seriously never thought I would enjoy exercising. The thought of sweating and getting up and moving around just made me feel more tired and lazy. If I wanted to lose weight I would simply stop eating so much and watch the poundage slowly go down. But it's harder now. I'm almost thirty year old, and eating what I want isn't working out as well as it used to. I can't remember exactly what it was that initially motivated me to start moving, but I do remember thinking that I was tired of feeling big. I was tired of putting on every pair of pants trying to find the one that fit and that would zip up without causing the "muffin-top". I just felt fat. It was mid April, and I decided to do something about it. I searched for an app for weight loss and the first one I saw I downloaded. Turns out that it worked for me! I really can't believe i'm back down to my high school weight. My husband looked at me and realized that this is what I looked like when he first met me in college. Now i'm kicking myself because I donated all of my "skinny" clothes thinking that I would never again be thin. Well, nuts. Oh well. I guess I get to go shopping.
When I started my journey back in April, I decided to start jogging. It couldn't possibly be too hard, and I was really motivated to start moving. For the first two weeks, I was jogging 2 miles per day. I got some new jogging shoes and was really going for it. But I had to stop due to some serious pain building up in my knees.  I asked my husband if he could put my mountain bike together again and put it on the trainer so that I could at least ride my bike on the back porch until my knees felt better. And he did! I guess he was so excited that I wanted to get back on my bike that he put it back together that night! He had been using my bike for parts for the past 4-5 years since I never rode it anyway. Ever since, I have been riding up to 3 hours per day and 30 minutes on the really busy days. But not a day goes by without some form of exercise. The coolest thing is that I get to log breastfeeding as an exercise too! The best kind of exercise is the kind you can do without getting up and moving. LOL!
I had told my husband that I was really getting excited about riding my bike and that I wanted to start training for the 'Reach the Beach' ride that is in May of next year. I only had one bike, and it's definitely not a road bike. It's really heavy compared to any good road bike, and it's just not built for that length of ride. My husband had a surprise for me though. For Father's day, he wanted us all to go to the bike shop in Portland so he could get a deal on their Father's day sales. I didn't know that he had slipped the bike rack in the back of the 4runner that morning. He had to work that day, so the kids and I picked him up and we all went down to the store together. As we were looking at all their bikes, my husband said that I should try out a road bike to see what would suit me. For those who don't know me, I am really short. About five feet tall on good days, and just under that on bad days. : )  Anyway, it took a while to find a bike with a small enough frame for me. The moment I got on that bike, I knew it was for me! It felt so good pedaling that bike! It was so smooth, I felt as though I was gliding on air! After test-riding it, I told my husband that this would be the kind of bike that I would go for when it came time for me to get a road bike. That's all it took. He then told me that he had snuck the bike rack into the car and that he was hoping that I would find a road bike to start my training on. I'm such a lucky girl! Since then, I've been training on my new road bike that fits me like a glove. I am really enjoying every minute of it, and most of all, i'm healthier now too.  It really does feel better to be moving and making the most of my days. I'm back to the weight i'm comfortable at, and I'm feeling so much better about myself! I really couldn't have done this with out the support of my amazing husband and especially God. Every time I felt like stopping, I would pray for the support to take one more step... just one more.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The first one.

Well, we've had two babies! We had started to think that this would never happen.
It all started in the beginning of
August of 2010 when, after multiple rounds of fertility drugs, my OB/GYN informed me that testing showed that I would not be able to conceive naturally. My only hope would be IVF or more rounds of fertility drugs. Michael and I had talked about continuing to use help to conceive and had come to the conclusion that if God did not want this for our family, why force it? I had prayed so many times for God to please not let me be infertile, and that I would take great care of any child he would give us. But all hope was gone on the day my doc gave me the bad news.
Driving home from the appointment, I called and unloaded the news on Michael. Although I tried my hardest to stay collected, I couldn't help but cry. Michael knew how much we had wanted this, and he reminded me that maybe God had something else planned for our lives. Needless to say that I found it very difficult to get any sleep that night.
As soon as we got married in August of 2003, I started getting birth control shots known as Depo Provera. I received one shot every three months, and this totally took away my periods. I stopped the shots in May of 2008 because it usually takes a year or so for everything to get back to normal. The plan was that by the time my body was ready, I would be graduated from Nursing school. I had planned to be pregnant hopefully by the end of school, and then start our little family right away, however, my period didn't come back that year. So, we waited... and waited.
A couple of weeks before my appointment, our pastor had invited Michael and I to go for a hike. This was one of the most grueling hikes I had ever been on! During the vigorous hike, I had felt some cramping in my lower abdominal region, but I figured it was because of the incredibly strenuous and horrific climb. The next day, the cramping continued. I started to think that maybe I was going to get my period back but unfortunately, the cramping stopped just as suddenly as it had appeared. 
By the end of August, Michael and I had our best to get on with our lives. We had found a house in the country that we were in the process of buying, and we were busy with all the exciting plans of what we were going to do with the new place. One Saturday morning, I awoke feeling very strange. Michael must have noticed and asked me if I felt like going to church. Honestly, I really didn't. What I wanted to do was to either stay in bed and sleep all day, or go to the zoo and take pictures. We decided on the latter and headed off. We had a great morning looking at all the animals and taking amazing shots. I was still feeling very strange, a little dizzy and very tired. By mid-afternoon, we were on our way home and decided to detour and go to OMSI before heading home. There was a reptile exhibit that we really wanted to see, as well as an Einstein exhibit. Although I was beginning to feel even more dizzy and tired, we went on in and enjoyed looking at all the reptiles. By the time we started in on the Einstein exhibit, I felt completely worn out. I told Michael that if I didn't find a place to sit soon, I was going to throw up! I collapsed onto a bench that was nearby. Michael suggested that we go home. I felt terrible because we had just paid for the entrance fee (which was not cheap), and we had not even seen a quarter of the exhibit. He didn't care. He helped me up and we left. I slept the entire car ride home.
The next morning, Sunday, we got up and got the dogs ready for our weekly Sunday morning walk with some friends. I was still feeling funny even though I had had a good night's rest. I was walking along and explaining to one of my friends how I had felt the day before and how strange it all was. She asked me if I could possibly be pregnant. I, of course, thought that was silly considering what my doctor had told me, and that I had not gotten my period back, and that it couldn't happen. That was the end of that. I figured that maybe I might have caught a bug and was starting to develop symptoms. Perhaps I was getting the flu or a very bad cold. However, I had never felt so strange in all my life.
We finished our walk, went out for breakfast, but I still had a weird sensation all over, and was still very tired. Michael and I decided to make a quick trip to Walmart before heading home with the dogs. I threw a five-pack of pregnancy test in the cart even though I knew I wasn't pregnant.
I had to pee as soon as we got home. I took the box of tests with me so that I could put them away since I was going to be in the bathroom anyway. It was a little curiosity and a little paranoia that made me decide to open up a test and confirm to myself, that I was not pregnant. I wanted to make sure that I was, in fact, sick with something else. After peeing on the stick, I had a strong feeling to pick it up and throw it away before waiting for the result. I had gone through this same process so many times only to read 'Not pregnant' on the display. I went back and forth in my head not knowing what to do. Should I look and be disappointed again? Or should I toss the test and shrug off the silliness of it all? I can't get pregnant anyway! My doctor told me so! I decided to throw it away, but maybe take a quick peek at the result before pitching it. I looked down at it.... What? My mind began to race: "There's one word...there's only one word! There SHOULD be two! But there's only one! There's only one word on there! That's my stick! I know it is, because I peed on it! There's only one and it's mine! That's my word! Oh my gosh! I'M PREGNANT!!!" I couldn't believe it! I began to hyperventilate as there was nothing else my body could do at the moment. I started to make my way to where Michael was, but he had heard my insane breathing and we met each other halfway. He looked at me, "Are you okay?!" All I could do was show him the test and in complete overwhelming joy and relief said, "Baby! I'm pregnant!!"
We spent the next twenty minutes on our knees, in the hallway, praising the Lord. Michael prayed first, then I managed a few words myself, both thankful for what was soon to come.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Time goes by...

Where does the time go? I find that there doesn't seem to be enough in a day for me to do everything that I want. And yet, I find enough time in a day to be able to watch my favorite shows and sit around. My husband once told me that I should write down everything that I do in a day so that I can see where I am wasting my time. Uh...I don't think so. It takes time to sit and write about my time, so i'd be wasting my time.  Let me just say that he didn't enjoy my answer as much as I did.
I am trying to get better at my daily schedule so that I can fit my hobbies in as much as possible. Finding time is getting more difficult, however, because the kids seem to be growing and gaining new abilities by the minute! My baby girl decided to stand up yesterday and walk herself along the baby gate! And my boy decided he wanted to climb onto the coffee table and tell the whole world what he just did! So, amid the new events happening constantly around the house, I do my best to get other things done. Such things like cleaning, cooking, drinking water and... going to the bathroom. Thankfully, I do get a two hour block in the afternoons to do an hour of exercise followed by an hour of deep cleaning or sewing. Before I know it, the kids are awake again and hungry. I did decide to lessen my menu stress by creating a weekly meal plan. So far (two days worth), it's been working out. I do have small moments of panic right after buckling my son in his booster seat thinking, 'What am I gonna feed this guy???!!!!' followed by a welcomed moment of peace when I look at the plan on the refrigerator door. That really is a time saver. It also helped that my husband watched the kids while I cooked up a storm on Sunday. Having foods ready to reheat when I need them has been a real life saver. 
I realize that after all I've done so far to save time in order to do other things that I really want to do, I have yet to mention any time spent alone with God. Time spent praying is something that I don't keep on my 'log' of time spent. Praying is something that I do constantly throughout my day. No matter what my feelings are throughout my day, I am forever thankful and grateful to Him who makes my life and the lives around me possible. I say this because about two and a half years ago, I was told that conceiving would not be in my future. Thankfully, the Lord had plans already in the making for us. And as the time passes by, I watch my two babies growing and developing more and more everyday. I guess I really need to make sure that I take advantage of every moment that is given to me. So even if there doesn't seem to be enough hours in my day, I remember that every second is precious.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Little voices outside my head

What a day. I'm hoping that the occasional ear-piercing screeches my baby girl unleashes will someday become a beautiful singing voice. But for now, I've almost decided to walk around the house with earplugs in. Wouldn't it be awesome if Micah also ended up with a beautiful voice? That would just be the best! I sing to my babies everyday and I noticed a few months back that Micah can hold a tune. He's got great pitch! Until they're both able to really sing something, i'll have to keep hope that their screams and blood curdling squeals of delight will all be for good... someday.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Music of life...

There's something that has to be said about the true impact of music. Music can make us feel an infinite variety of emotions. What music is going through your mind right now?
Over the past couple of days, I've taken a break from watching my favorite TV shows while cycling in my back porch in order to see if listening to music would help me work harder and faster. I noticed that while improving considerably on my cadence, music like Coolio's Gangsters Paradise didn't give me a great aftertaste in my mood when I was done. I opted out of that on today's ride, and instead I listened to a playlist of christian music I created on You Tube. I had the same improved result in cadence as yesterday's ride, however, my mood/feelings during the ride went into deeper thoughts as I listened and followed along with the lyrics.
Having always had music of some sort going through my mind through all my years, I've come to realize in the past  year or so that the genre of music I listen to can have a significant impact on the result of my day. My attitude can be changed amazingly just by listening to songs like 'Bring the Rain' by Mercy Me as opposed to songs like 'Superman' by Five for Fighting. And after following along with the lyrics for 'Superman' on my ride yesterday, I found that that song to be severely depressive! I used to "sing" along with songs like that even though I didn't know the lyrics most of the time. The tunes might have been really catchy, but what was I singing along to?? It makes me wonder what the world would be like if gangsters would listen to music like 'What a Friend We Have In Jesus'? LOL!
Although we are not on this earth to convert anyone, what kind of example of Jesus are we showing by the music we listen to, and by the music we WANT people to listen to? Just a thought...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hello again!

Sitting here at my kitchen table with my now 2 year old son listening to him as he sings to his lunch. I'm slowly sipping at my coffee, and thinking about how incredibly blessed I have been through my life. I have lived through so many events in my life that have molded and shaped me. I am so very thankful to my forever merciful heavenly Father for guiding me through all the hard times, and celebrating with me through all the happy times.
I find it hard to believe that I am turning 30 this year. Have I really lived that long? I know I've told many people this same thing, but when I was very little I would think that Jesus was going to come back before I turned twenty. Well, twenty came and went and I am still patiently waiting (sometimes impatiently).
Well, I'll write more again tomorrow. But that's all I have time for today.

The above picture was taken on Micah's birthday this year.