I know it’s time to go back to school when…
a.) I regularly have to remind/ask myself what day of the week it is.
b.) The days and weeks are starting to blur together into one big blob of relaxing and happiness.
c.) I am actually getting bored. I need to be productive and do things. Namely graduate from college.
So in addition to the gym (update: it’s still boring), spending time with my family, and practicing occasionally, I’ve been trying to keep myself busy….
First, I would like to announce I’m done with pre-student teaching! Yay! It took a while to get all five days in, with snow days and an inconvenient dentist appointment, but I finally got them all done. It was such a cool experience. I wish I was student teaching at this school! I loved working with the students and the teacher.
This was on the last day at my little corner desk in the band room. It’s not related to teaching, but I’ve been practicing this very pretty four-strand braid that I’m sporting here! It’s tricky at first, but I’m getting better and better every time. I love how it looks like a weaving in my hair. I’m still working on the french braid equivalent, so it’s a side braid in public for now.
I’ve also been baking and cooking quite a bit. I’m sure you’ve seen some of my posts on Facebook and Instagram, so sorry for the repeating pictures, but I’m proud of all the delicious things I’ve made.
Spinach quiche – yum. We had it for dinner on Monday. My family is a big believer in breakfast for dinner – just last night my mom and I made scrambled eggs with ketchup!
This is quinoa cinnamon apple bake. It’s kind of like baked oatmeal except with quinoa – I just love saying that word. There’s egg, lots of spices, vanilla, milk, and raisins in this tasty dish – quite healthy for a quick breakfast and a decent amount of protein. It’s one of those dishes where you can just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it together – the best kind of cooking in my opinion! Soups, breakfast, anything like that I love to make. This stuff is great if you serve it hot in a bowl with some milk poured over it and a little brown sugar.
I made these just about an hour ago: mint chocolate chip cookies! The recipe calls for pieces of Andes mints, but we didn’t have any so I just used chocolate chips. The cookies have peppermint extract to give them their minty taste and they’re really good, although next time I’m definitely trying them with the Andes mints.
In addition to spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ve been sewing! It’s been so much fun and I’m very glad I decided to start doing it again. It’s definitely something I want to keep up, especially because it’s completely not music-related. The other day I realized that I don’t have many hobbies that don’t involve music. So it’s nice to do something different than I normally do, and I think it’ll be an outlet to avoid being burned out and stressed when I’m super busy with music education things in the future.
I guess it kind of involves music because I do listen to music while I’m sewing, but it’s so relaxing to do so. I’ve been listening to movie soundtracks like crazy recently. I love them normally, but lately I just have really been enjoying them. My favorite, hands-down, is How to Train Your Dragon by John Powell – go check it out! You won’t regret it. It’s so beautiful and quite musical, especially for a film score. I remember being so surprised the first time I heard it. I knew John Powell had written the music for the Jason Bourne series, which is so very different from HTDYD. His more electronic, mysterious, and rhythmic Bourne melodies contrast significantly to the soaring, huge orchestral pieces in HTDYD. He also wrote the music for the chick flick P.S. I Love You! That man can do it all.
Seriously, go listen to HTDYD. My favorites are “Forbidden Friendship” (you have to see the scene in the movie too) and “New Tail.”
Anyways, back to sewing! After a couple trips to the sewing store and asking for help from my mom and a friend, I finally got to the sewing machine to work. Ours is an old machine and I was worried it would never work again, but we got it figured out. So this past week I’ve been working on something every day for a few hours at least! My first creation was…
This dog sweater! It’s actually a sweatshirt, with a cute little pocket and the hood, as you can see. It even has a little opening at the back of her neck so a leash can be attached. How can you not love it? It’s made out a fleece material so it’s warm and cozy, especially good for the recent cold weather.
Button was a little apprehensive at first, but soon she cozied right up in her new clothes. I found her like this the next day in the basement. She snuggled herself up in this blanket all by herself. What a cutie pie.
The most annoying part about making it was cutting out the fabric. Using the pattern is difficult, because the paper is thinner than tissue paper and I’m constantly trying not to tear it. I was working on the floor to have lots of space, which was a pain (literally) after a while. But once I stabbed myself repeatedly with pins and got over my fear of using my super-sharp scissors, I got all five pieces cut with no major issues. I also had to cut out the pink trim for the sleeves and bottom, but I did that part later.
I actually did the entire sweatshirt in one day! It was really fun piecing it together and seeing the finished product. I went very slow, making sure the fabric was always facing the correct way and that the seams were lined up.
The next day I made another one! This one is a size smaller, which was much harder to make. I had an eye appointment the other day, and one of the girls who works in the office brings her little dog to work everyday. I was checking out, and we got on the topic of her dog, who sits in her tiny bed very quietly all day, and we got to talking about Button’s new sweater. Jen said that she’d love it if I made one for her dog, so I did! I’m going to take it in when I go to pick up my new lenses next week. I hope it fits! I had to kind of guess on the measurements.
My next creation is an apron (which I need due to all the cooking I’ve been doing!) which I’m about half finished with right now. I love the fabric I bought for it – I’ll be sure to post a picture once it’s finished! I actually have to make another trip back to JoAnn’s Fabrics because there’s ribbon for the trim that I need. I also have been working on my t-shirt quilt. I have to iron on this material called interfacing to the t-shirt squares before I can begin sewing them together. It’s going to take a long time and I really don’t want to do it but it’ll prevent the thin fabric from stretching and getting distorted when I try to put them into rows. So that’s tomorrow’s project: lots and lots of ironing.
Well, I’m off to go read a book and hang out with my family before bed. I might watch a movie with my brother. We’ve both in the mood for The Avengers since we just watched Captain America recently! Good night beautiful world!