#TheForceAwakens

Ok guys , this is a short one. This blog is kind of half mommy blog, half geek blog. Call it a geekmom blog. Anyway, today we go full geek for a minute.

The Force Awakens trailer. SO EXCITED!
While there are tons of things to talk about from this very short peek into the new film, I really want to focus on one thing.

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The Saber.
Prepare for serious geek out.
Because new design… yes, love that there’s something new there, but I don’t want to talk about that. What I want to briefly discuss is the quality of the blade.

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It looks more flame-like, almost kind of spurty? Like it’s ever so slightly unstable. Which I feel like may give us insight into this character. Because unlike Jedi, Sith don’t use real crystals to build their lightsabers, they use a synthetic version that they make themselves. Hence the red hue of their sabers. So here’s where the speculation begins. There are only two Sith at a time, Master and Apprentice, both died at the end of “Return of the Jedi”. We are then left with a lone Sith, a masterless apprentice. He (or she!) is having to figure things out alone. And that’s where the blade intrigues me. Is the quality of the manufactured crystals lower because this is a young, lone Sith? Hence making the lightsaber blade more unstable? Is there that much attention to detail in this new Star Wars? If so, then I am very, very, excited to see more.

In a more relatable geekmom moment, I am very proud that my two-year-old yells, “There’s da Falcon!” every time it comes on screen when we watch the trailer – which is multiple times a day.
So excited.

Being Thankful

Thankfulness

So this is Thankgiving, when we traditionally take a moment to think about what we’re thankful for. And usually, we can come up with quite a lot. Basically, look around the room and you can come up with a list of things, things that we may take for granted or that we may even remember to be thankful for every day.

But recently, I decided to start using thankfulness a little bit differently. I was getting ready for a ladies’ event, when I heard running water in the other bathroom. Never a good sound. I rushed in to find the two-year-old wearing a full cow costume, washing her feet. In the sink. With the drain plugged. I did what anyone would do – went into full crisis mode and began running back and forth between that bathroom and the other one, grabbing as many towels as I could find. After getting the mess cleaned up and the toddler into dry clothes, I had just enough time to throw up my hair and slap on some lip gloss before my ride arrived and I ran out the door, leaving the kids with dad for the evening.

At that event, we were asked to write a list of things that we are thankful for, being that it is November and all, and I wrote down the usual – names of the kids and the husband, our house, stuff like that. Then I thought of what had happened just before I left the house and I smilingly wrote, “running water”. And then I thought of my cow-clad kid washing her feet and I wrote, “healthy kids” and “imagination”. I began thinking of things that I usually complain about and made a challenge out of finding what there was to be thankful for in them. Washing stacks of dishes, for instance. I wrote “Food” and “Dishes” – because a stack of dishes must mean we eat well and have something nice to eat off of. Oh! And there’s that running water again!

It’s not really a new concept, the book “Pollyanna”, which is one of my favorites, calls it, “The Glad Game.” And 1 Thessalonians 5:18 calls it, “In everything give thanks.” But basically I’m trying, when I find something that I am decidedly NOT thankful for at the get-go, to find what there is to be thankful for in it. I’m not always successful, I still sometimes (oftentimes?) go into crisis mode… But when I do remember to take a step back and be thankful, it makes a difference.

I know I’m not the only one, what’s your best #runningwater story?

Captain Sun!

Captain Sun

So this week is a review post!

I recently got sent a couple of really cool comic books to review, and I’m excited to share them with you! They are the “Captain Sun” comics, and as a former comic book geek and current mom of a superhero obsessed son, I can highly recommend them.

First, my boy. While I love superheroes and comics in general, they can get scary, and with my four-year-old, that can translate into sleepless nights. Images stick. Also, he can get as fixated on the commercial image of Batman as my girls can on Disney Princesses. Second, as a mom of four girls, females portrayed in comic books aren’t known for having normal bodies or modest attire. 

Enter Captain Sun, the books do have dangerous circumstances in them, but the second book is all about dealing with fear. The lesson bits are done as outtakes at the end of each chapter, which I was wondering if my kids would get anything out of, attention-span-wise.  However, after we read the book, my daughter was singing songs in the car as it got dark about not being afraid. Win.

After reading the first book, my son brought me a cape and an assortment of other superhero dress up things and I asked, “Oh, are you going to be Batman?” “No.”, he replied. “I’m a new hero. If he can make up a new guy, then I can make one up too.” Referring to Bryce Morgan, creator of the Captain Sun series.

The female member of Captain Sun’s team “Fog” (who my girls inform me is “awesome”) is not over-done, and I would love to see more of her in the series. The female reporter in the second book has a normal figure and wears a pair of pants and a turtleneck.

So these books taught my kids about dealing with fear, inspired them to be more creative, and had positive female characters. They also gave us a fun way to share comics together, while learning important lessons. I would fully recommend Captain Sun to everyone and look forward to seeing more of them!

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Check out Captain Sun!

 

 

What makes you happy?

I’m not talking about deep and lasting joy OK? I’m talking happy. Just happy. Here’s a picture of a giant bunny. It makes me happy.

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A Mr. Tea Mug. Happy.

I pity the fool who don't love Tea!

Maple. Bacon. Cupcakes. I will be happy very soon. Because they will be in my tummy. You should make some too. Click on the picture. Then we can be happy together.

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You get the idea. Real post coming soon. Till then, be happy.

Bradley Method Diet (Free Printout!)

Click the image to download!

Hey! Just a quick post for anyone who’s pregnant (or thinking about it)! I made this a while ago, for a different pregnancy, but I’m going to print it out and laminate it to use with this one! The sausage links stand for 10 grams of protein each. This is mostly just a cute version of the reminder chart if you do the Bradley Method. I’ve also included the exercises you should be doing at the bottom. If you want to check out the Bradley diet chart itself, or learn more about the method, click here.

Enjoy!

FREE! Chewbacca Amigurumi Pattern

I’ve been meaning to post an Amigurumi pattern for a while now… but I never remember to write them down as I go.

No idea how I made this guy.

Yoda head key chain… Umm, make a circle and add some ears?

Now though, FINALLY, I have a pattern for you all. And it is the most difficult Ami I have made yet. Mostly because of the yarn used. The stuff makes it impossible to see your stitches! But SO worth it! Don’t worry if you make any minor mistakes either. Fuzz covers a multitude of wrongs.

So here he is! And below is how to make him!

Chewbacca Amigurumi Instructions

*Note, PLEASE do not reproduce without emailing me first at hello@epicsoup.com and crediting this blog. Please make only for gifting or personal use and do not sell pattern or actual finished toy. Chewbacca is the property of Lucas Film Inc. (or whatever all the Star Wars stuff is property of,) and is made as a fan homage only and not for any profit.*

Materials: One Skein Brown VERY long fur yarn. I found some crazy stuff at Hobby Lobby. Size 3 or 4 hook. Two black safety eyes and one triangle safety nose. Yarn needle. One piece each brown, black, and gray felt. Black embroidery thread. Two buttons. Embroidery needle.

Head and Body

(When you start this you’ll want to keep it inside out to avoid the fuzz and see what you’re doing. When you get down to step 7 or 8 you’ll want to add the eyes and nose. Make sure you groom everything around his eye area to look Wookieish before fastening in the eyes. Then you can turn it right side out and stuff as you go.)

1: Single Crochet (SC) 5 into a magic ring.

2: Single Crochet 2 into 1, [(2SC) 1] 5 times. You should have 10 stitches.

3: (SC) 1 then (2SC) 1, 5 times. 15 stitches.

4: (SC) 1 around. 15 stitches.

5: (SC) 2 (2SC) 1, 5 times. 20 stitches.

6: (SC) 3 (2SC) 1, 5 times. 25 stitches.

7: (SC) 1 around. 25 stitches.

8: (SC) 4 (2SC) 1, 5 times. 30 stitches.

9: (SC) 1 around, for 4 rows of 30 each.

10: (SC) 4 and stitch 2 together (2Tg) into 20 stitches.

11: (SC) around for 2 rows of 20 each.

12: (SC) 4 (2SC) 1, 5 times.

13: (SC) 4 (2SC) 1, 5 times. 30 stitches.

14: (SC) 6 (2SC) 1, 5 times. 35 stitches.

15: (SC) 5 (2Tg), 5 times.

16: Finish stuffing.

17: (2Tg) till the bottom is flattened off.

18: Fasten off. Weave end into body.

Arms and Legs

(For the arms and legs you’ll need to do most of it right side out and stuff as you go. I find the best way to avoid the fuzz is to stick a finger in the middle and crochet around it.)

Legs

1: (SC) 3 into a magic ring.

2: (2SC) around. You’ll have 6 stitches.

3: (2SC) around. 12 stitches.

4: (SC) around till 3 3/4 in. long or till it looks long enough to you. Just make sure you make both legs equal.

5: End off.

6: Make 2.

7: Use yarn needle to sew to body.

Arms

1: (SC) 5 in magic ring.

2: (2SC) 1 (SC) 1, into 5. 8 stitches.

3: (SC) around till same length as legs.

4: End off.

5: Make 2.

6: Use yarn needle to sew to body.

Wookie Man Bag.

1: Cut 1 long thin strip of black felt, measuring around the body over the left shoulder and under the right arm.

2: Cut enough gray rectangles to space around the black strip as pictured. Sew through middle of each onto black strip.

3: Fold a piece of brown cloth up a third and cut a wide oval. Fold top down and blanket stitch sides together. (See picture.)

4: Sew one end of black strip to brown bag.

5: Sew one button to the front of the bag and one on the back corner opposite the black strip. Cut a button hole in the front of the bag flap and in the end of the black strip.

6: Button the bag closed and button the bag onto Chewbacca.

7: Don’t call it a purse. Unless you want to feel Wookie wrath.







Amigurumi Goomba

Goomba

I’ve been making amigurumis for all of my siblings for their birthdays this year, letting the younger ones request what they want. So my brother tells me, “I want a goomba.” “A what?” “From Mario Bros.” “Wouldn’t you rather have Mario? I can find a pattern for Mario.” “No, I like goombas.”

It went something like that. And of course I could not find a good pattern, or even a goomba someone else had made that I really liked the look of to copy. I was forced to make my own, from scratch, with no pattern.

And I like him. So does my brother. I wish I could give you the pattern, but the truth is I made this guy up as I went. So I wouldn’t be able to give directions. I’ll try to make it up to you later.

Bottom:

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Top:

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Hope this was an inspiration to go create something new yourself!

Tuscan Kale Chips

Kale.

So this might not be the best first recipe to put on the blog. Kale chips? I know, it looks like a decoration, and sounds like something a mom would do to get her kid to eat there greens. But they are actually really, crazily good. And with kale season right around the corner you’re going to want to know how to use the power-packed vegetable without it tasting like grass. (Okay, so maybe it is a little about tempting a kid to eat her greens, except the kid is a mother of two.) Yes, I said grass. Without some help, that is what kale tastes like. Now all the kale people are going to be mad at me, but that’s just how it is. Not kale chips though. When roasted with a little olive oil and salt, they have a thin, nutty, crunchiness that is slightly addicting.  I found them in Bon Appetit Magazine and added a little spice. So good.

Tuscan Kale Chips adapted from Bon Appetit.

Ingredients

12 Tuscan Kale leaves with the stems removed (be sure to remove completely)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 250°F. Toss kale with oil in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (I add a pinch of red pepper flakes.)  Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes for flat leaves and up to 33 minutes for wrinkled leaves. Transfer leaves to rack to cool.

These look great in a vase or tall glass for serving!

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Japanese Fabrics

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So I am sightly obsessed with Japanese fabrics. Am I a little behind the bandwagon? Maybe. But really, can you ever be too late to adore the absolute cuteness of the tiny patterns of everything from Russian dolls to cars and trucks (like that above)?  What’s not to love? I guess with my amigurumi craze, and my love of sticky rice and green tea, it was only a matter of time before these stole my heart. Right now my favorite source site to drool over is www.superbuzzy.com, which is the source of the picture above.

Buy ALL the fabrics!!!

Illustration Friday: Frozen

Frozen for IF

When I read a book, some of my favorite parts are the meals. I love long, detailed descriptions of what my favorite character is eating. Even if it makes me need a snack halfway through the chapter.

Illustration Friday’s topic this week is “Frozen”.

As Elmreth tastes her bubbling pot of wild mushrooms and sweet onions, flavored with secret warming herbs; we can imagine the brave hero who lies cold and near death in the snow behind her. His skin a pale blue, his fingers clenched stiff, his cracked lips waiting for a life-giving taste… but not until it’s just right. A little more tarragon perhaps?