April 29, 2012

Life is not over. A Rant.

So it's been awhile since I've gone on an old fashioned rant so why not.... 

A few things have happened lately that have nothing to do with me and yet have frustrated me to distraction.  And I couldn't understand why situations that I have no stake in whatsoever would make me so angry.  By all accounts it made no sense.  But the more I thought about it the more I realized it had nothing to do with the situations themselves.   And what I'm angry about makes perfect sense:

I am so, so, SO sick of the thought that when you have kids?  LIFE IS OVER.

Um no.  NO.  No it's not. Yet this seems to be the prevailing attitude lately.  There are whole websites devoted to Before Kids Bucket Lists.  And even a whole advertising campaign devoted to this concept.  And it pisses me off.

Because there is an inherent insult in this way of thinking.  You know what?  I have two kids.  And my life is FAR from over thankyouverymuch.

She broke her glass talking about church. @knitwitgirly
Pictured:  Last Friday night.  I went out with the intention of having one drink.  Maybe two.  Then we made friends with the bartender, tried a new shot on the house, and hung out with the band.  A night that would have made even my kidless 27 year old self proud.
I'm not saying things aren't different.  I would never say that.  I joke all the time about how different things are.  Hell my little About Me on my sidebar is basically a paragraph about how things have changed.  But different is NOT the death of funtimes.

No caption necessary.
Pictured:  No fun at all, obviously.
The opposite of that, actually.  Because with kids - especially kids my kids' age - anything and everything can be a recipe for ridiculous funtimes.  Situations that suck as an adult become awesome adventures with a kid.  Even a random lazy Sunday lunch in our pj's can result in laughing so hard that you cry:

Video of our entire family cry-laughing at lunch today.  Over basically nothing.  Yet I laughed so hard my sides hurt afterwards.

And yes.  It's hard.  I'm frazzled.  I'm sleep deprived (I did the math once and realized that in the whole of 2011 I never had more than 2 nights in a row of 6+ hours of uninterrupted sleep.  So "sleep deprived" seems like a poor description of just how fucking tired I am.)  And alot of the times I'm also sticky.

But I am happy.

Deeply happy.  Soulfully happy.  The type of happy that only comes when you know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.  When you are no longer living towards some dream of a hopeful future.  When you are actually in it, giggles and stickiness and all.

Smells good!
But don't get me wrong.  I would also never say that "life began with my children" or "I never knew what love was until I saw her face" or "There's nothing more beautiful than a child's laugh" or any of those awful platitudes on the other side of it.  They make me equally insane.  Because kids are absolutely NOT a requirement for happiness (neither is marriage or travel or any other life choice people are intent on being judgy about) But I will tell you this:

I wouldn't trade my kids for any awesome trip, amazing time with friends, or ridiculous night out in the entire world.

(and I know from awesome trips, amazing times with friends, and ridiculous nights out)

In other less rant-y news we finally have a grown up patio set a mere 6 years after we built our patio!

6 years after we built our patio we finally have a real grown up patio set!

 My kid in typical her fashion immediately asked "Are we having a party?"  I explained that no, this was going to be a permanent fixture in our backyard.  Her reaction?  "We should have a party"

Yes.  Yes we should.

Edited to add a line of clarification.  I do NOT believe that kids are the only road to happiness any more than I believe that they are the death of it.  Just wanted to make that clear.

April 27, 2012

Lake Erie Love

So this week at Life in Cleveland has been pretty insane, huh.  Guest blogging!  My first ever book review!  Tons of new followers!  OH MY.  This little blog is growing up.  But.  While I welcome all of these new opportunities this is still going to be my space to occasionally be random.

So how about some Lake Erie Love?

Those of you who have been around awhile know that my dad is a photographer.  Which is awesome because then I get to share with you fabulous photographs like this:
Lake Erie in Winter.  This is one of my all time favorite photographs and is the basis for my header.
And ones like this:
Us on Easter.  WOW.  I have got to get my hair under control.  It's starting to look like a competition between me and my kid for craziest hair and that is not a good personal style philosophy.
He's also a fisherman and loves Lake Erie more than anyone.  No really.  He loves it enough that he has become a licensed captain and is now running fishing charters out of Edgewater (Here's the link to his site:  Peerless Charters):
You should totally join him on his boat this summer for a charter.
He loves the lake so much that on Monday when there were gale force winds and everyone in their right mind was taking cover he went and photographed it:

Lake Erie in Gale force winds

Lake Erie in Gale force winds

Insanity, right?  But amazing photographs:

Lake Erie in Gale force winds

He wasn't the only one who had this idea:
Lake Erie in Gale force winds

But something tells me his images were the best.

April 25, 2012

Socialpunk Book Review

So I was asked to read and review the new book Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle.

I jumped on this opportunity immediately b/c not only do I love reading but the synopsis completely intrigued me:
Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.
The book was an enjoyable read - and a quick one as it's a YA novel and it was only 275 pages.  It is the extremely fast paced story of a teenaged girl, Ima, who escapes her current reality and discovers a completely new one.

As this is an honest review I'll start with the negative.  The character development was not very in depth.  I found myself having difficulty understanding or caring about the choices the characters made because I just didn't know enough about who they were and what motivated them.  I think part of this is that this novel is the first in a series.  It is setup for future novels.  So perhaps the characters will gain more depth as the series continues.  However since this is a setup I think alot more backstory would have been appropriate.

The part where this book really shines is in the worlds that it creates.  Two very different settings are described - both future visions of Chicago. The first is a domed city because the rest of the world is Scorched.  Interesting thought on where we could be headed.  The second Chicago is what intrigued me the most...(warning the next bit of this review might be a bit spoilerish)

In this world computers are integrated into the characters very brains.   No, really.  Which leads to two really dramatic things - first of all noone asks questions anymore.  Because if you even think it your brain tells you it in incredible detail that only a computer could give you.  Ummmm... that sounds a bit like what smartphones have already done to normal conversation.  Noone talks about facts anymore - someone just looks it up on their phone and the conversation is over.  And if we aren't communicating through questions and answers how are we communicating?

The second is that the built environment is essentially blank.  Then the characters use their minds to customize what they see.  Again this is a startling and fascinating extrapolation of where we are now.  And is customizing your environment any different than customizing the interface on your phone or tablet?  What is the logical end to this incredible dependance on having the interenets in our back pocket all the time always?  Honestly you could replace iphone with mind in every sentence of this excerpt and it would completely be describing me:
she'd become so reliant on the data that flowed through her mind whenever she summoned it. She couldn't imagine living without it, couldn't imagine having to ask questions every time she needed information, couldn't imagine not knowing where she was or what time it was at any given moment
And the really interesting question the book raises is what if the providers of the technology that we rely on for EVERYTHING have nefarious intentions?  Fascinating (and really alarming) thought.  Especially for someone as into social media as I am. (if google wanted too?  they could end me).

(please, google, don't end me.  I puffy heart love you.  Even if I never ever use google+ for anything ever seriously why do you even have that lever?)

Anyways!  I very much enjoyed reading this book and writing this review.  Thanks so much to Monica Leonelle for this opportunity - I wish her the best of luck with this release and with her upcoming books Socialmob and Socialhood.

Oh and I haven't told you the best part yet - she's having a huge giveaway to celebrate her book launch!  Here's how to enter:

April 24, 2012

Two Trifles for Tasty Tuesday

So today I'm doing a guest post over at Raising Miss Mommy.  She does a Tasty Tuesday recipe every week and today it's my Snickers Trifle:

Snickers Trifle

Apparently I have developed a reputation as being the One Who Brings Trifles and these are now requested anywhere I go.  Including guest blogs. Which also means lots of dinner party invites.  Some of them even include bounce houses:

Bounce House Inside!
Bounce House Inside!
Setting the bounce house up inside so that the adults could eat trifle and drink wine in peace while the kids ran themselves ragged?  Best. Idea. Ever.

And whoever invites us over next gets to try a version with melted frosting inside.... just sayin'

Anyways! The alliteration of naming the posts Two Trifles for Tasty Tuesday was just too much for me to resist. So how about a recipe for a Strawberry Trifle?

Strawberry Trifle

What You Need:

  • Box of Devil's Food Cake Mix (and stuff required to make it.  Usually 3 eggs, some water, some oil)
  • Box of Instant Chocolate Pudding (and stuff required to make it.  Usually 2 cups of milk)
  • Tub of Cool Whip (if it's frozen stick it in the 'fridge for a few hours to dethaw)
  • 2 Containers of Fresh Strawberries (you could get by with only 1.  They were buy one get one that week and the kids ate ALOT of them while I was assembling the trifle)
  • Strawberry Sundae Topping (you could skip this if you want)
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
Strawberry Trifle


Bake the cake in 2 round cake pans (or whatever configuration.  The cake pans are just easiest for assembly but don't really matter in the grand scheme of things)
Make the pudding.
Allow the cake to cool completely and the pudding to set completely.
Slice up a good amount of the strawberries leaving a few for garnish and snacking.

Layer in a trifle dish:

1 of the round cakes (I cut it up into wedges first):
Strawberry Trifle

Strawberry Topping:
Strawberry Trifle

Sliced Strawberries:
Strawberry Trifle
Chocolate Pudding:
Strawberry Trifle
Cool Whip:

Strawberry Trifle
Chocolate Chips:

Strawberry Trifle

Then Repeat the Layers:
Chocolate Cake:

Strawberry Trifle
Fresh Strawberries (I eliminated the sundae topping for this layer because it just seemed like too much.  It was a good move and I would probably eliminate the topping altogether the next time I make this)

Strawberry Trifle
Chocolate Pudding
Cool Whip

And then garnish and make pretty with the chocolate chips and some strawberries:

Strawberry Trifle
The end result is super impressive and very fancy (my 3 year old daughter's favorite word):

Strawberry Trifle

Please to enjoy! And thanks so much to Amanda for hosting me today!

April 23, 2012

Meet the Misfits.

So I've had quite a few new follows to the Life in Cleveland Facebook Page lately (Hi!  Welcome!  Thank You!)  so I thought it would be a good time to do a little About Me and This Blog.  Which ties in perfectly with the Misfit Bloggers who are doing a Meet the Misfits Blog hop!

Love it when things work out like that.

Anyways the Misfit Bloggers are a group that started as part of the SITS Girls 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and has evolved into a very active facebook group of bloggers helping bloggers.  They are a great group and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

Anyways the questions they asked are:

Who I am... 

I am Jeanne aka Sourire11.
My profile pic pretty much everywhere these days.
I'm 30 something and happily married to my college sweetheart:
Our wedding back in 2004.

I"m a mom of 2:
The Boy who just turned 1, and The Girl who just turned 3.
I'm a Cleveland girl who loves her hometown despite being married to a Steelers Fan.

I"m a knitter and an indie dyer who occasionally dabbles in designing patterns. I also love dogs, wine, twitter, reading, and photography. 

What I Do...


Great day for the park!
And this:

New Base Yarn
And a whole lot of this:

I was an architect with the 6 years of design school and masters degree and ambition to remake this city I love and all of it.  And then I had a baby and..... I never went back.

hands are the best
Pictured:  A bit of a distraction from that whole Architecture thing.
But! Also!  I couldn't walk away from design completely.  So I started a company, Destination Yarn, which merges all of my passions - design, travel, knitting, and color.
Every colorway is based on a place.  This makes me unreasonably happy.

I occasionally post shop updates and pretty yarn to this blog.  Because seriously even if you're not a knitter who doesn't love a rainbow of yarn?

Why I Blog...

I started blogging because I was obsessively reading knitting blogs as a way to research patterns.  It didn't seem fair that I wasn't contributing to the online knowledge bank.  Then I got into it and it became a way to share both my projects and our adventures.  I still see it as that even if our adventures are less this:

Machu Picchu
Us at Machu Picchu in 2007.  We hiked there via the 4 day Inca Trail.
and are more this:

The kids at Geneva State Park last summer.  We drove there at naptime.
And my knitting is less this:

Traditional Stranded sweater that it took me 2 weeks to knit (part of the knitting Olympics but still)
and more this:

Mod Cables Slouch Hat
Hat that it took me 2 months to knit.  I did design the pattern, though so that's something I guess!

What the misfits mean to me...

The misfits are support.  Plain and simple.  They get this blogging thing and what it takes to do it and are happy to help in any way they can.  Which is so, so awesome to have found.  I especially love that the group is so diverse.  The bloggers there have all different backgrounds and their blogs are about all different things.  Which is perfect for me since I often feel that this blog is a misfit.  I'd love to be able to be a genre blog and do it well.  To be a Cleveland Blog.  Or a Knit Blog.  Or a Parenting Blog.  But... I just don't have the attention span.  So often I feel like I don't fit into blogging discussions because I'm kindof all over the map.  The Misfits made me feel welcome no matter what I blog about and for that I am incredibly thankful.

If you want to join in (we won't bite, I promise!) with the Misfits the very active facebook group is here.  And the linkup is here:

April 22, 2012

Spring Rainbow of Yarn

So you guys I am super excited to finally be debuting a brand new line of semi-solid colorways from Destination Yarn!

Rainbow of Spring Colorways Celebrate Spring!  This series of semi solids celebrates the bright, vibrant colors of spring.  Perfect for knitting outside in the sunshine!  Each skein is kettle dyed for deep, intense colors with enough subtle variation to show off patterned stitches well.

Each colorway is dyed to match a shade of spring. Which for me meant either a spring break style drink:
Daiquiri (2)
Daiquiri:  Bright strawberry pink of a frozen daiquiri.  Yum!
Peach Schnapps 02
Peach Schnapps:  A lovely bright peach.  This shade of melon orange is one of the most fashionable colors of 2012!
Margarita 02
Margarita:  A bright, icy, lime green.  The exact shade of a frozen margarita!

Or a flower that blooms in spring:
Daffodil 02
Daffodil:  Pale through Bright yellows of daffodils.  One of my favorite flowers! 
Blue hydrangea 02
Blue Hydrangea:   The light, sky blue shade of these lovely flowers.
Lilac 02
Lilac:  A lovely periwinkle purple.
hyacinthDK 02
Hyacinth:  A purple/fuchsia reminiscent of spring blooms. (this is the colorway that I used to knit the Warm Up Your Wellies pattern)
All of these beautiful new colorways are currently available in both Postcard and the Souvenir bases at Destination Yarn.

And in case you're wondering what happens if you throw all of those lovely colors in the dye pot together:

Celebrate Spring Awesome is what happens.

I have two skeins of that pastel rainbow named Celebrate Spring on my Letter base available.  But I'm going to guess they will go pretty quick.

This marks the beginning of posting a whole bunch of new colorways.  I'm very happy to be at the dye pots again and am enjoying creating something different!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...