Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's becoming a habit...

At some point in the near future I may need an intervention. I leave it to all of you to determine when that needs to happen. After the fun I had sewing up Halloween costumes for the rugrat and I, it became necessary for me to branch out just to see if I could do it. So, I got patterns for the rugrat and myself that contain all the pieces necessary to make full outfits. Obviously I was smart enough to go with the easier patterns because even I am not willing to make the jump to insanely difficult right from the get go. At least with sewing. :) Sewing has seemed to replace baking as my stress reliever too. Which is weird because it's 100 times more frustrating than baking a cake, but the results last longer so maybe that's why it's working for me.

Last night I decided to break out the jumper pattern for Malia and give her a go. I needed to see how long it was going to take because the sisters and I have decided to make matching jumpers for our girls to do Christmas pictures. I need to know how long it's going to take me to sew them so I know how quickly I need to get going. Well, after two hours last night, I'm just about finished. I did not start until around 8 so I had to stop at 10 so as to not annoy the neighbors with my loud sewing machine. I don't know if it can be heard outside my condo, but I'd rather not take the chance given how much I complain about the crazy dude living above me and his tendency toward loud. I just have to finish up the hem on the bottom and finish hemming up the armholes as well. I'm sure there is a technical sewing word for the armhole finishing thingie, but I don't know what it is. I did learn that I will not be using flannel for these though. Holy crap that was a pain. Maybe it was just the type I got, but it stuck to itself and other parts and I think added in at least an extra 20 minutes to the whole process. I think I may move to fleece for winter wear because it would be nice and cozy.

Here are pics of the jumper. Yes, it's really long, but I still need to hem it and I figured longer was better what with winter coming up next on the season agenda.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not a Halloween post - haha =P

I am shamelessly stealing this from another blog that I read. Here’s what you are supposed to do:

* Look at the list and bold those you have read.
* Italicize those you intend to read.
* Star the books you LOVE.**

Also, please note that I am irritated by some inconsistencies in here. Why is The complete works of Shakespeare in here and also Hamlet? Also, the same is the case for Chronicles of Narnia and "Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? It makes me wonder how many people pick the full collection, but miss the individual selections. I really think that if you are going to put an individual one in, you should not also make selection of the entirety available. I'm kind of a jerk about stuff like this though.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. **The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien**
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. **To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee**
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. **The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien**
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. **War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy**
25. **The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams**
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. **Emma - Jane Austen**
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. **Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery**
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. **Dune - Frank Herbert**
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. **Brave New World - Aldous Huxley**
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. **Moby Dick - Herman Melville**
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. **Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad**
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. **Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl**
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quickie - Malia ties her first bow!

Earlier this evening Malia asked me if I could help her by showing her again how to tie a bow. She's got little ties on the front of her pants and just decided she wanted to do it. She's tried before in the past but got frustrated and decided to wait until she got older. Apparently she was old enough tonight. I showed her the easy two bunny ears method and after about ten minutes she managed a half tie, but couldn't get both sides of the bow quite right.

Well after a couple hours of practicing she just came in to show me her very first bow that she ever tied by herself. I, being the dork that I am, took a picture:

She then untied it and retied it and I took another picture:

Yay, how's that for perseverance?

Monday, October 20, 2008

I finished one and have half of another done

I finished up Malia's costume last week, and she decided to parade it for everyone. I also got started on my own costume and with the exception of the sleeves I have the upper half of the dress finished. Luckily all the skirts entail are gathering the waist and sewing one of them to the top half and then hemming both of them because I think the sleeves may be the death of me. I already had to add in extra material in the bodice because I'm an idiot and forgot to adjust the pattern to account for the girls. I thought I accounted for fat arms, but I forgot to account for being able to move them as well. If I want to walk around the entire time I'm wearing the costume I can leave them as is. I don't like this option so I'm working on some ideas about doing something to them so they fit better. I've yet to find exactly the right layout, but I do have some pretty cute little stuffed hearts that I may use to widen the sleeves. I may just give up all together and wear my black sweater underneath. It's really thin and would probably help in the making sure the girls are covered as the neckline is a touch low. Here are a couple pictures of mine. It's kind of hard to tell what it looks like, but use your imagination.

Eh, here's the joy of Malia. Second picture is her "leopard face" a la batface from last year. It's not quite as good.

Ryan and Mel came over for enchiladas and entertainment by Malia (c). Malia also took pictures during the mini-party. Before they got here, she started taking rather random pictures. I was finishing up the velcro on the front of Malia's costume and had to pause because apparently her stuffed snow tiger was feeling under the weather and we had to heat up her rice bag and then she tucked the tiger into it. The first bunch of pictures are of that snow tiger and then of course she had to take a bunch of pictures of the birdcage. I say birdcage because I'm not sure you can see the bird. I don't remember where in the mix the picture is, but my favorite from the evening is when she let TC take a picture of her and Ryan. She got him to help her make a scary Halloween face. It was a lovely evening and there was only a minor break down when I turned off her Hello Kitty so I could check out the new show Crusoe. That didn't last long but not because of her tantrum. You'd think that you couldn't screw up a show based on a classic like Robinson Crusoe and involving pirates, but I had to force ten minutes of viewing before even I could no longer ignore the lack of goodness.

are the pictures from Malia's camera and Enchilada night.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Two unrelated topics

Saturday Malia and I decided to head up Emigration Canyon this last Saturday. We hadn't been up and she wanted to take pictures of the leaves. I know, we're a little late, but it was still fun. We got about 2/3 up the canyon before the rain turned to snow. We went up until the turn off for Pine something or other and decided to head back down since it was starting to really come down. I thought the snow would stop sooner as we came down the canyon, but it was still snowing as we passed the zoo. I think it was still snowing until we got to around 2000 E. I've added a link to Malia's gallery of pictures. Per usual, she decided to start taking pictures before we even left the house. Also, as an aside I noticed a ton of houses up for sale. I really wish I were in a position to purchase a home up there because I really like it. I love all the trees and being near the creek.

Malia's pictures

I slept funny a couple of nights ago and my neck has been sore ever since. I started getting the mother of all headaches earlier today and decided to leave work a touch early. After picking up Malia from school we headed home and I decided to finish up a project that I started well over a year ago. Possibly even two years ago. My mother gave me some great hand towels in an Elephant motif that match my bedroom decor. These were to make rice filled heating bags. They are simple but brilliant. They move around and mold way better than a heating pad and they don't get so hot, plus you can use them as a cold pack to if you freeze them. Anyway, I finally sewed mine up and have been wearing it for the last hour and a half and it's still plenty warm from the 2 minutes in the microwave. My neck feels a hundred times better.

Bonus gallery from my last visit to my parents. My niece Hannah is such a cheese for the camera.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

8 Things - blame Carin

8 TV shows I love to watch:
-Dirty Jobs
-Deadliest Catch
-No Reservations
-Bizarre Foods
-The Office - only if I remember it's on.

8 things that happened yesterday
-Went to work and wished I'd stayed in bed - getting a cold
-Looked at Malia's Halloween costume and opted to watch TV instead of finishing it
-Looked at my costume pattern and opted to just not think about how long it was going to take
-Got lazy and fed Malia and myself frozen TV dinners
-Ate 3 grapefruit (NOT the best plan, I'm paying today)
-Opened a new account at the Credit Union that is lending me money for school
-Watched Fringe and laughed maniacally several times. John Noble's character is fantastic
-Woke up at 3 am to the crazy dude upstairs hammering something (technically this was today, but I'm counting it)

8 things I'm looking forward to:
-Finishing both Halloween costumes
-Boo at the Zoo trick or treating with Malia and whatever family can come down
-Halloween party with some friends/co-workers
-Finally getting my dining room table and chairs uncovered so we can sit down for dinner
-School starting in January - I'm more looking forward to the finish of that though
-Halloween party with Malia's Kindergarten class
-Crazy dude upstairs moving out (not currently planned as far as I know, but I can hope)
-The first big snowstorm and making snowmen with Malia (hate the snow, but love how excited she gets)

8 people who I'm tagging:
-None, I will force this on no one. =)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Christmas teaser

I can get away with this post because my daughter is only 5 and she doesn't read this blog (or much of anything just yet). I purchased her Christmas present today. She's been pestering me for awhile to play on the computer and for the first time last night she got really angry that I wouldn't let her play around on my Macbook. I've been meaning to get something that I can hook up to the internet to let her play around because every kids DVD anymore includes online games and stuff like that. I figure it'll help her with figuring stuff out and reading as well if she can play around. Also I don't want her on my laptop. Too many possibilities for it ending badly.

EDIT: This is not to replace the sweet kids laptop my parents got her for Christmas last year. She loves that thing and it's great, but it can't go online. :(

Long story short, I found the perfect computer for her today. It's not super fast and it isn't super fancy, but it should be a fun first computer for her.

This would be an iMac old school:

Specifications :
* Serial # : RN0115T2J89
* 400 MHz Processor
* 320 MB Memory
* 10 GB Hard Drive
* CD-RW Drive

Includes :
* Apple iMac Blueberry Computer
* Apple Power Cord
* Apple iMac Blueberry Keyboard
* Apple iMac Blueberry Mouse

The problem now will be me having to wait 2 1/2 months to give it to her.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Halloween teaser and fun with sewing

I broke out ye olde sewinge machine yesterday morning. After approximately 1 1/2 hours wrestling with it, I sewed the first stitch on Malia's Halloween costume. I'm apparently an idiot because it took me that long to troubleshoot and discover that not only had I not put the bobbin in correctly, but I'd strung it incorrectly. It's been about 6 years since I last sat down and sewed something so apparently in those years, I'd forgotten the basics of running my machine. I took the thing apart trying to figure out what was jamming things up before I noticed that it wasn't the bobbin jamming that was the problem.

After about ten minutes of sewing I realized that the 3rd step in the process was to sew the tail and stuff it with poly fill. I apparently forgot to purchase that fill in one of my many trips to the fabric stores over the last couple of weeks. So, up we went in the snow to JoAnn's to pick up some poly fill. While I was there I grabbed a scissor sharpener too because I've been meaning to. Mom, I'm bringing it with me next time I come up and sharpening yours.

I sat back down and 5 1/2 hours later I'm about 90% done with her costume. I still have to finish up the ears and attach them, put on the velcro for the front closure and finish up sewing the elastic into the mitten and boot parts. I also apparently have to do some quick fixing and tack on a few inches to the bottom hem because I'm somehow off by like 2 inches. I don't know how. I measured it three times and even measured it while Malia was wearing it. Yay, for extra material. Hopefully it's not too noticeable.

I did realize however that this was the easy of the two costumes and it's going to end up being around 9 hours total with cutting out and sewing. I'm probably looking at 15 or so for my costume. Luckily I'm not working on Friday so maybe I'll get up a teaser on it for the weekend. I also realized that while I love my counter height kitchen table with it's stool chairs, I'm too short to comfortably sit and sew and still reach the pedal. I had to sit on the edge of the seat to reach the floor to work the pedal. I may have to invest in a card table if I decide to continue sewing things. I probably will because the cutting out part aside, I rather enjoyed putting the costume together. I may do some real clothes for her now. It was surprisingly relaxing.

Enjoy the pic I took last night. Sorry it's so blurry.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Family Fun Walk

Good times were had this evening. Malia and I attended our first official party thing at her school. Yay! I ran the ticket booth. I was scheduled for an hour, but ended up there for like 2 1/2 hours because Malia was having such fun running around I couldn't bring myself to make her leave. As it was she was unhappy to be leaving because there were still people there... the PTA cleanup crew.

Anyway it was fun. I chatted with a mother of one of the afternoon kindergarten kids. I am a horrible person and can't remember her name, but should she happen upon this, you rock! I chit chatted and Malia ran around the playground. The GOOD playground. She was excited to play on the big kids playground because when she is at school she only gets to play on the little kid playground. Maybe I am blind, but the only difference I noticed was color. I think they just have to play on the one that is closer to their classroom, but when you are five (or 32) it's all about the grass being greener.

Grand tally for the evening:
4 hotdogs
1 Pepsi
1 bottle of water
2 face paintings
3 balloon "animals"
1 colored hairspray

Pictures here

Fun fact to share with you all. I apologize that this picture is not more clear, but it's still pretty good. On the bench in the picture there is a woman with a gold belt. That gold belt is on a denim jumpsuit. That's right. I didn't think that they still made them. While I think it's a fashion don't for multiple reasons (jumpsuit, denim need I say more) it did not look bad and I think was actually pretty flattering on this lady. However, they really should stop making these.

Bonus video from the last time we went to the zoo. Wrestling bears!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's a better day than I thought it would be

I kind of figured that today would not be a good day. It has however turned out to be a pretty good one. I think it's because I'm very happy with my new pants and my birthday shoes. This is the first time I've worn my birthday shoes to work and it's great. I scored the new pants at the DI.

Malia and I had to go get her a new jacket since she managed to lose her last one that fit somewhere between daycare and school but not on the bus. Yeah, I don't know what she did. She decided on a lovely jean jacket with embroidered flowers on it. It fits perfectly which means it may or may not last until it's time for winter coats.

Here's to keeping my fingers crossed and to my cute shoes.

Oh, and I got Malia's costume all cut out I just need to begin the fun of sewing it together. I am now reminded why I sew so rarely. I HATE pinning and cutting out the pattern. I think I need to look into paying someone else to do that part.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Malia fun and a Halloween teaser

Malia decided to tell me a story from school this morning while we were getting ready. Apparently her "boyfriend" at daycare told her that she didn't look pretty because her socks were never matched. She told him that it didn't matter what he thought because she thinks that she looks pretty with them. She elaborated that she doesn't care if someone else doesn't think she's pretty because she thinks she's pretty and that is what is important. I teared up a little bit to hear that she's so comfortable with herself. I realize she's only 5, but how many kids that age do you know who would make the statement? I'm so proud of her!

Night before last as I was delivering HOA fee to the HOA president Jeannie, her son Andy decides to challenge Malia to Mario Kart. He bets her a dollar that he can beat her. Andy is 17 almost 18 and likes to tease Malia. Well, she took him up on it and they shook hands. Andy brought his little brother over (I can't remember his name exactly, I think it may be Arlen) and they get to playing. Malia wiped the floor with him. He was so surprised that she beat him so handily. I tried to warn him that she uses at least 45 of her 90 minutes of tv/game time each night to play Mario Kart, but he didn't listen. Malia, of course, will probably tease him for quite some time. Or at least until she gets her dollar from him.

They came by again last night. This time we managed to talk Malia into letting him use the steering wheel with some fancy BS from me. I let her use my controller which has a green stretchy cover on it and told her it was my lucky one so she would be just fine to use it without the steering wheel. Well apparently it is lucky in that she still managed to beat Andy even with him using the steering wheel. She wasn't quite as good, but she realized that she needs to practice with the regular one so that she can beat anybody at any time. I did realize however that she's a very poor winner so we'll be working on that a bit.

And finally, the Halloween teaser you've all been waiting for. I purchased patterns for costumes about a month ago, but just haven't have time/money at once to get the material. Well, I went and picked up the material last night for Malia's costume. I'm going to hold off getting mine until I'm done with hers so I don't get confused/distracted. Malia decided last year that she wanted to be a cat for Halloween. Over the year she's been going back and forth on what kind. Well, about 3 months ago she finally decided on the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. She then informed me that I needed to be a character from the show too so we could match. Well, I'm just not young enough to pull off Alice, so I'm going to be the Queen of Hearts. Should be a good time. Back to material. Do you know how difficult it is to find pink and purple striped material? I looked all over the place and no one had any. I'm all for effort, but frankly I'm not going to cut up material and sew it piece by piece to make my own stripes. Luckily I was able to find a animal print in purple and pink flannel at Hancock Fabrics. They are usually way more expensive than anywhere else, but they are having a sale so I got it for 40% off... or the regular price I would pay elsewhere. They also had no solid flannels so the part for the tummy and the inside of the ears has little pink hearts on it. Malia informed me that I'm to try and get the hearts to be over where her real heart is because that would be cool. So anyway, it appears that instead of being the Cheshire Cat, she's going to be the Cheshire Jaguar or Leopard or whatever animal the print is supposed to be. I don't know these things, I just know stripy types like tigers and zebras. Those are easy to figure out. Eh, at least we found purple and pink in one fabric and we're both okay with that. Here is a picture of the material:


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fun with food and school

Due to many requests, here is a link to the recipe for the peach cobbler. Instead of the pineapple and cherries use peaches. I generally try to use enough to cover the bottom of a 13x9 pan. It's like 6-8 good size peaches. Hale peaches work the best.


I also add 1/4 tsp of cloves to the cake batter and I grind a little pepper over the top of the peaches before I put the cake batter on. I don't even bother to try to turn it over. Peaches are way juicier than pineapple so it isn't as sturdy as it would be with pineapple.

I also just found out this afternoon that my student loan went through for school. I get tuition reimbursement from work, but still have to pay out of pocket up front so I was kind of stressing things what with the economy tanking and all that fun stuff. Yay me!

Unrelated, this picture just completely cracks me up. Thanks to a co-worker for sending it my way! The eyes!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Random entertainment

Can you say you have ever passed the Great Leslie on the way home? Well I did yesterday and he was driving a red Dodge Neon. I didn't have a chance to take a picture because he turned too quickly for me to grab my camera but here is a visual for you all to appreciate my fun drive home. He's the one in the middle for those of you who haven't seen the movie. Also, his gloves weren't white, they were a dark brown.