Wednesday, March 31, 2010


So I've been isolated in my office all day, doing the devil's work (or something like it). I ventured into the restroom for a quick break and passed by a mirror. First thing I noticed was my gross ponytail and dark under eye circles (darn you fluorescent lighting). The second thing I noticed was that my cami had slipped down, and my cardigan was saucily unbuttoned revealing more skin that I am typically comfortable with. (I say typically because sometimes, in the right circumstance, say in night clubs and other party destinations, I might feel okay with showing that much skin.) (But really, this whole thing about nightclubs is a fabrication. How do I have time for frivolities like party destinations when I'm busy at home sewing, and laying on the couch watching TV, and whining about not wanting to work out, and then finding the most ridiculous excuses for not working out and then justifying my laziness with statements like, "Today was just a bad day. Tomorrow will be better." "But I am soooooo tired. I've never beeeeeeeen so tired in my whooooooole life," and the ever popular high-pitched whine "I don't want to work out. I HATE exercising. It's never done me any good and I hate it. WHY??????? WHY do I need to exercise.". I'm obviously very busy.)

No wonder no one would look me in the eye. Heh heh.

Just kidding. I have had minimal human interaction today. And I've gotten out of my chair precisely three times in the last six hours: two bathroom breaks, and one time to get my lunch.

Speaking of saucy*, I finished two sewing projects over the weekend, which I will promptly photograph and post. I still haven't ventured to the fabric store for supplies for my Oscar de la Renta suit because redecorating and reorganizing has taken over my life. Kind of. That and chronic laziness (see above) has struck me with its full fury. I'd tell you more about it, but I'm feeling lazy. And tired. And maybe a bit starved for human interaction.

Tonight on the menu is Tucanos. I'm especially excited because I truly enjoy overeating. And at a place like Tucanos, where it's all you "care" to eat (I prefer the word "can," because it sounds more like a challenge) meat, I feel that overeating is essential to having the full experience. And let's face it, who doesn't love meat? (besides vegetarians, vegans, and the meat-intolerant)

*Segue that actually has no relevance.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sad day for my shoe collection

I have decided, after much consideration, that I need to limit my use of my pretty shoes. I have started to have chronic foot pain and chronic foot ugliness. I suspected this day would come, I just hoped it wouldn't come for a long time.

I have wide feet, and I often shove them into narrow, but adorable, shoes. This is not good for your feet. Weird right? I mean, who would have guessed? And now I've got a bump on my foot below big toe (often called a bunion, gross). And my pinky toe is deformed (hopefully not permanently). So, I've decided that the health of my feet mean more to me than my vanity, plus I really like having cute feet for summer when I wear cute sandals and cute flip flops. I will not wear adorable shoes all day at work anymore. I will wear my flats that have plenty of room in the toe box. And I will limit my cute shoe use to a few hours at a time, like perhaps church, and going out with the Huz.

Mourn for me my friends. I'm mourning.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is it bad form to express frustration over cookies? I suppose the answer really doesn't matter because either way I'm going to tell you how frustrated I am about the chocolate chip cookies I made yesterday.

I'm frustrated! Really frustrated.

I made cookies for my dear TC, who loves cookies. I haven't made any in a while because the temptation is too great for me to resist. (When making cookies, I eat enough dough to possibly get salmonella poisoning. One for the cookie sheet, one for my tummy. Repeat.) But yesterday I figured since I had skipped breakfast and lunch, I could do with some cookie dough consumption.

So, I set out to make cookies that would not be dog biscuit consistency the next day. I've tried a variety of recipes, including one that Brianne gave me a while back. Her recipe resulted in soft chewy cookies, but unfortunately the Huz doesn't prefer oatmeal cookies, and since I'm really making the cookies for him I ought to pay attention to his preferences. So I used a high altitude chocolate chip cookie recipe that I found online and got rave reviews from people who live at a much higher altitude than I. The result: Last night, the cookies were soft and gooey. Today, they are crunchy and hard. Tasty, but you could break a tooth. (I might be exaggerating a tad. But they are not for the weak of molars.)

I'm frustrated. Seriously. I carefully measured each ingredient. I followed every direction. I timed how long I allowed the cookies to cool on the sheet, I timed how long I let them cool on the rack. I put them away immediately so the dry air wouldn't suck the life out of them. The only thing I changed in the recipe is that I used 2 cups of chocolate chips, instead of the 1 cup it called for. And still today, this morning, as I was having breakfast, I heard TC crunching away on his breakfast cookies. (Yes, sometimes he eats cookies for breakfast. It's not weird in Argentina. Let's get over it and move on.)

Enraged at the crunching, I went to the cookie jar to get myself a cookie to try. And sure enough, I couldn't hear the morning news over the noise of my chewing.

W.T. Heck? Seriously! Chocolate chip cookies are like the most basic recipe on the planet, and I manage to goof those up.

But I will not be defeated. I will persevere. Next time, I will change the following: use only 1 cup of chocolate chips (maybe those somehow make a difference in the texture of the cookie), and use my light colored cookie sheets, and maybe cook for less time.

Any other suggestions?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sewing Roots: Mom

I realized that for some of you, my sewing seems out of context, therefore I decided to write up a little mini-series: Sewing Roots. I believe there will be two installments: one about my mom, and one about my own sewing history.

Here goes:

I grew up watching my mom sew. She sewed for me, for my siblings, for friends and acquaintances. When she cut fabric on the kitchen table, I would climb up on a chair and watch her. And she would reveal bits of information, about the fabric grain, and where to pin the pattern pieces, and what to do with those notches. And I soaked it all in. When she sewed, I would climb up on the end table next to the machine and watch her and she would give me more nuggets of precious instruction, like how you have to take the pins out as you go so you don't risk breaking your needle, and how you have to be careful not to sew your fingers, about backstitching, and how the pedal controls speed.

Me at three years old in a dress that Mom made for me. I loved Strawberry Shortcake, so she made me a dress from Strawberry Shortcake fabric. Prized dress. I still have it. Also, please note the knee socks that are cutting off my circulation. I HATED knee socks.

Opal Claire, my Cabbage Patch doll, with two dolls my mom made for me. The dark haired doll in the middle is named Jenny. I don't remember the name of the blonde doll.

Mom made me a baby doll with embroidered eyes and hand sewn yarn hair. My Cabbage Patch Dolls had the most extensive wardrobe thanks to my mom. I had baby beds, baby blankets, and even a baby carrier thanks to my mom and her sewing. Even my Barbie dolls had clothes made by Mom. There was nothing she couldn't sew.

That's me loving Jenny.
Me in the first grade in another dress that Mom sewed for me.

I have fond memories of going with her to the fabric store and looking through the pattern books. And several times she even let me pick out a few patterns for her to sew for me. It was like Project Runway, 1980s child version. I got to pick out the pattern and the fabric and Mom sewed it while I looked on and learned. I loved being the designer of my own wardrobe.

Of course, Mom's sewing started quite a bit before I was born. When she was 10 years old a doll dress she sewed was entered and won a prize at the Utah State Fair. She sewed many of her own clothes as a teenager, and when she got married she was able to keep the family stylishly dressed despite Dad's small Navy salary.

A dress Mom made as a teenager.

My two oldest sisters with my parents, Hawaii 1971. Aren't the matching outfits just the bomb?

My parents again in Hawaii around the same time. Notice my sisters' matching dresses, and Mom's impeccable sense of fashion. I really love her dress.

Everything the five of us kids are wearing was made by Mom (except for the socks and shoes, and perhaps the chonies).

She sewed for fun, out of necessity, and to challenge herself. When I was 8 years old or so she made me these dolls:

Raggedy Ann and Andy that Mom made. Their faces are painted, their hair is hand sewed. She made these dolls in many sizes for several of her grandchildren and friends.

And around that same time, she made me this Halloween costume and the doll I'm holding:

Honestly, Mom is amazingly talented at sewing. When I wear something I made around her, I'm self-conscious, worried that she will see the flaws. She's a perfectionist and infinitely patient when it comes to sewing things right. You will never see skipped stitches, or crooked seams, or unfinished edges on anything she makes. She is amazingly talented and I look up to her. Thanks Mom!

Mom and me in 2008.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well, here's the scoop. Remember a while back when TC became the family doctor? Well since then he's been doing a post-doc at the U. This has been a great blessing because he's been able to continue his research, and gain valuable experience.

But it became time to look for a permanent position. So we've been applying to jobs all around the country for months. After months and months of nothing, it all came to a head a few weeks ago. TC was offered a job in DC Metro, and a job in Salt Lake City all within the same week. It was somewhat of an agonizing decision to make: the DC job would offer great benefits, a chance to get to know a new place, being within driving distance to so many wonderful places, a job that would take great pains to make sure that TC was challenged and interested in his work even though it would be behind a desk, the opportunity for TC to watch the military blow stuff up. The SLC job would offer TC a chance to work in a lab doing research (which he enjoys and does well at), a chance to stay in a place we love, the opportunity to continue what he's been working on at the U because of our continued proximity, and possibly the opportunity to blow stuff up himself.

We have felt so blessed to even have a choice. We prayed and fasted and prayed some more, and weighed out the options, and looked at the best and worst of each option, and then finally made a decision: we were going to DC. We started the balls rolling toward moving, notified those on the "need to know" list (like my work), and moved forward. It all moved so quickly until we were stopped.

Abruptly we were stopped in our tracks. It was clear that we had made the wrong decision for us. We had prayed that we would know the right decision to make. Once we made our decision to take the DC job we switched our prayers to asking that if we had made the wrong decision we would know.

And we knew.

So we backtracked and un-notified people, and got the ball rolling for us to stay. And it feels overwhelmingly right. We know that taking the SLC job is the right decision. And that is a wonderful feeling: knowing that we are where we ought to be according to what Heavenly Father has in mind for us.

TC starts his new job in a few weeks and we are just pleased and excited and happy and grateful and blessed.

So that's the wonderful thing that has been happening. It's been stressful, and we've had sleepless nights, but in the end we recognize that this is a wonderful thing to be stressed about.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Defenestrate sent me that word this morning. I haven't defenestrated anything in a long while. I'm due. And I believe you are too.

TC and I have been busy with our redecoration/reorganization/rearrang-ination project. Our living room is kind of almost how we planned, so that's exciting. It's exhausting to move furniture around. It almost makes you want to self-defenestrate.

We were yay close to packing everything up and moving across the country last week (part of the wonderful things happening). Plans changed, we're staying in SLC (also part of the wonderful things happening), but the prospect of packing up all of our things (I wanted to use a more crass word, like crap, but I won't because I'm trying not to use crass words like crap in my daily vocabulary. Crap. Oh crap! I said it.) scared us straight. So we decided to purge and reorganize and reevaluate everything we have because, well, we have too much, and many things we don't need (like receipts from 2004, and adapters for electronics we no longer have, and the like). We have started a DI/garage sale pile, we threw out a large garbage bag full of *things* and have reorganized the things we are keeping.

As for the DI/garage sale pile, I'm voting garage sale because I think having a garage sale might be fun, but seeing as how we are sans garage, it might be kind of difficult. Maybe I'll borrow a garage from a family member... (How many times can a person use the word garage in two sentences? Apparently, five is my upper limit.)

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It was indeed a great day. TC got me a Wonder Woman t-shirt, which I wore yesterday and felt like Wonder Woman which was helpful as we did heavy lifting and heavy sorting, and heavy breathing (keep your minds out of the gutter peeps). The only thing I was missing was the dual bracelet action.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Thoughts on thirty-one

  1. I thought about posting 31 thoughts about turning 31 today, but I'm not sure I have that many thoughts.
  2. Next year I will be 32, and will have as many years as Baskin Robbins has flavors. That's exciting.
  3. Now I'm really excited for my birthday next year.
  4. Maybe I should sew 31 new items of clothing in the next year. That would be ... calculating ... 2.5833333333 items a month. I think I could handle that.
  5. I have heartburn. Stress induced. This morning was stressful. Now the stress is over. Whew!
  6. Tonight I'm watching 24 with the Huz. Gosh I love that show.
  7. I worked on the Oscar de la Renta jacket this weekend and I am so proud of it. It's coming along nicely. Maybe I'll finish it this week?
  8. Maybe not though, because I ran out of bias tape and I have a few more edges to finish in bias tape.
  9. I guess I need to go back to the fabric store where I may or may not have spent a significant amount of money last week.
  10. I celebrated with my family on Saturday with pizza and cake. I wanted to make my cake, but I was out of eggs (how did I let that happen?) and was going to run to the store, but then I got involved in working on that jacket and then it was kind of late to try to make a cake, and TC and I still hadn't cleaned the house.
  11. So Costco came to the rescue. They had a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The frosting was tops.
  12. My age is now a prime number, so that's pretty cool.
  13. Apparently TC's scientific-ness is rubbing off on me.
  14. The prime number thing popped into my head because I thought, "I'll never get to 31, why am I dragging this out?" And then I thought, "Oooh, I could do a number that's divisible by 31." But then that's when I realized that 31 is a prime number.
  15. Is this considered attention-seeking?
  16. Bah! Who knows. Who cares.
  17. Okay. I'm giving up
  18. at
  19. the
  20. number
  21. 21.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Did you know? Hancock Fabrics

Did you know that the Hancock Fabrics on 700 East and 3300 South in Salt Lake City plays Funk in their store. Recently I heard songs by Earth, Wind and Fire and Teddy Pendergrass and other artists that I don't recognize because I'm not all that well versed in funk music. But man, I wanted to get DOWN. I wanted to sing and groove, and move to the beat.

If you need a pick-me-up and you're in the area, head to Hancock Fabrics. Their music rocks.

Wealth... of baloney?

So the other day when I wrote about Suze Orman and feeling poor after watching her show, I realized, especially after a humbling comment by my dear friend Shannon, that I sound like an ungrateful, whiny, SSB-like, jerk.

I wasn't complaining about our own financial state. At least I didn't mean to be. We have been blessed. We did indeed go through a dirt poor, watering down our Flavor-Aid, eating only rice-a-roni and quesadillas, being vegetarian because we couldn't afford meat, watching our 13" TV with rabbit ears that was propped on a metal folding chair from an old stake center renovation, deciding between paying our tithing or buying food period. It was tough. And because we went through that, we realize just how blessed we are to not have to worry about deciding between two good things (i.e. paying tithing or eating). The contrast is stark. And I often think of those times with fondness, and look how much we've been blessed and thank the Lord for the comforts we enjoy.

What stood out to me about watching Suze's show is that pre-show I felt pretty darn good about our financial state: we've saved, we've been careful, and we've only spent money that we had. Post-show I felt like all my efforts to save and make smart purchases, and be a wise steward over what we've been given were not enough, that somehow I needed to be pulling in $20,000 a month, and that I needed to have a quarter of a million in the bank for retirement.

That contrast was pretty stark too.

So that's why I wrote about that. I was surprised at how inadequate I felt our actually adequate finances are. And I really meant it to be light and fluffy and more like, "Wow I didn't know I needed that much money." I'm guessing it didn't come across that way.

And how I must have sounded got me to thinking about how I present myself in general. I know I come across as whiny and ungrateful. So I whine, and yet I get to sew and shop and travel and do all these wonderful things. And I must seem like a huge jerk. That's probably because I am to a large degree. Don't you love how I have these bi-monthly epiphanies that encourage me to be a better person, all thanks to the blog. (Thanks, as always, for the therapy.)

There are wonderful things* happening in our lives that I am so eternally grateful to God for, but we're not ready to share them with the www yet. It's been a long time coming, and the wait has been hard. I've been impatient and childish and unhappy and haven't had a great attitude. I'm imperfect (ever so). Thanks for bearing with my impatience and whining. I'm sure that I will still find things to whine about, because, let's face it, that's my nature.

On a lighter note, I've started on a new project that I'm excited about: a pencil skirt made from upholstery fabric. I sure hope it turns out.

Also, it's about time that TC and I did some furniture rearranging and redecorating, so that should be coming up soon. It's always a challenge to find just the right furniture for just the right price though.

* not a baby

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Have you ever wondered how to make chimichurri? Have you ever wondered what chimichurri is? Have you ever even heard of chimichurri?

If the answer to any of those questions are yes, you are in luck! TC is here to teach you the technical techniques of chimichurri preparation.

Here's the basic recipe:
2 heads of garlic
1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup of dried oregano
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1/4 cup olive oil
boiling water

Step 1: buy yourself 2 cute glass bottles to store your chimichurri, or half the recipe.

Step 2: chop up all your ingredients into tiny little pieces.

Step 3: layer your ingredients, dividing evenly between the 2 bottles, like so

Step 3: pour boiling water into the bottles

Step 4: let it cool completely, then refrigerate for up to six months (or longer if you're daring).

Step 5: grill some meat, and douse it with well-shaken chimichurri while it's cooking and while you're eating. It's delicious.

Thanks TC.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bad Reputation

I have a reputation in my family that I can't cook. Or that I don't enjoy it. Or that it's "not my thing." I know where the reputation came from. I have two sisters who cook these amazing several-course meals for all the family. And when it's my turn to plan something I go with pizza, or we go out to eat. Because I'm not about to put myself through the stress of cooking for so many people. And how can I enjoy the party if I'm busy in the kitchen? You see my point, right? Right? Plus there was that angel food cake that I made (from scratch for the first time ever) for my mom's birthday, and it looked so ridiculous (imagine two deformed bricks of angel food cake) that I still cringe when I see the photos. And then there was that time that TC called my split pea soup "crunchy" in front of my family. Good times.

But you all know that I do cook (right? right?). And a good number of the things I try in the kitchen actually turn out. And I enjoy experimenting. So I'm not all terrible.

My reputation is so bad that a few years ago my mom gave me the lamest food assignment for Thanksgiving: a can of corn. Yeah Mom. I think I can handle that. This came after the year that I made homemade rolls for Thanksgiving. :( Sad. My feelings were hurt, I told my mom, she apologized, I forgave her and then felt silly for feeling hurt, and she assigned me a salad. And my salad was such a success (ha, I'd like to think so) that I am often assigned salad at family gatherings.

But here's another indication that my family is sweet, but really truly believes that I can't cook: when I do prepare something for a family gathering (like the key lime pie this weekend), they are more than generous in their praise. They are encouraging, and accidentally say things like, "This is actually really good." And I chuckle to myself. So sweet, but their honest surprise at my success shows through.

I guess it's fair though. They don't know about the apricot cheesecake I made a while back:

Delicious, but the end result was some very uncomfortable gastro-intestinal issues thanks to the dried apricots.

Or the berry cake:

This one was actually tasty, and fairly attractive.

Or my loaded nachos:

Delicious and nutritious.

And they don't know about my other conquests in the kitchen. But I suppose that the fact that I call it a conquest indicates my own surprise at my success. Because perhaps cooking doesn't come naturally to me, but if I work at it I can develop the skills I need to keep my family well fed.

Well, if you ever invite me to a potluck, ask me to bring a salad. Apparently mine are really good.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Financial Comparison

I know it's not healthy to compare yourself to others. I know, I know.


TC and I watched the Suze Orman show on Saturday evening and ended up feeling thoroughly depressed about our financial state. It's not that we are destitute. It's not that we go without food, shelter, clothing (goodness I don't go without clothing). It's just that when people are calling in to ask if they can afford a $35,000/year nanny and Suze Orman says, "Show me the money girl." And then it is revealed that the nanny-wanter has a combined income of $20,000/month I started to feel very, very poor. I know it's poor form to share how much you make, but I'm going to reveal something to you all: I don't make $20,000 a month. Sad, I know.

So it's not that I want to hire a nanny, and it's not that I wish my expenses were less than 40% of my monthly income, and it's not that I wish I had nearly $250,000 in retirement income, it's just that I want to call Suze and ask her if I can afford something, maybe like a new sewing machine, or loads of bias tape and lace. But I think she would tell me to put more money away for retirement, and that I should have some money in investments. And that I shouldn't spend inordinate amounts of money on fabric. *sigh*

Thanks a lot Suze for crushing my whole world.

Can I Afford It? -


1. We're taking a cruise with my family in April. It's a short 4 day dealie from San Diego to Ensenada and back. I'm excited.

2. I'm sleepy. I know, who cares right, since we're all kind of messed up from the time change. But seriously. I'm sleepy.

3. I've been playing around in Adobe Illustrator for work, and I really enjoy it. It's nice to be able to do something creative at work.

4. I finished the Peter Pan collar shirt, except I didn't sew on the buttons because I don't have the right ones. Off to the fabric store I suppose.

5. We didn't leave the house on Saturday, except to get mail downstairs. I like being lazy.

6. I have a new project in mind, a bright orange skirt with a bow at the waist like this one, which ironically I thought heavily about last week before this was even posted, but when I saw Gertie's version I all my doubts about the project melted away and I knew that I had to do it. (I use the past tense as if this didn't happen just a matter of moments ago.)

7. I am yawning about once every 45 seconds. It makes my eyes water.

8. I made a key lime pie over the weekend (actually two, but who's counting) and it was pretty good. I don't think it was all that pretty, but it was tart and sweet. And you know what? I just used the recipe on the side of the key lime juice bottle.

9. On Saturday night I made a pizza that could make a gourmet salivate. I used a can of stewed tomatoes, minced garlic, parsley, basil, some sugar and a pinch of salt for the sauce (blend in blender for 30 seconds until blended blendedly). I spread that over the crust (prepared with the help of my bread machine, pre-baked for five minutes or so) and baked the saucy crust for a few minutes. Then sprinkled chopped spinach and sliced mozzarella over the top, filled in the non-cheesy holes with Parmesan cheese and baked until golden brown. I surprised myself with this one.

10. My nickname for the cruise is "Lunch Lady." I really don't know why; it just makes me giggle every time I think about it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Moderate sweat and financial panthers.

Because of time constraints and hunger constraints, we did a shorter weight routine last night. No panting like a dog, or sweating like a pig. But I did eat like a chicken nugget eating horse. Yum.

I have a little confession to make: I don't like to exercise. There's nothing about it that I enjoy. It's hard work and I hate it. Hate is a strong word, yes. But accurate. Bleh! The only ONLY reason I attempt to exercise is that it really helps my mental health. I feel good **AFTER** I exercise, emotionally. So there you go folks. I just had to get that off my chest because after I wrote about exercising yesterday I feared lest a dear reader would get the wrong idea about me. I AM chronically lazy; please don't think otherwise.

I have another confession to make: I really enjoy window shopping. Okay, really I just enjoy shopping altogether. But right now, TC and I have cracked down on our spending and are focused on saving so I haven't spent money on myself in a whole week! (That doesn't sound impressive, but before that I hadn't bought any wants, not frivolous clothing or food or anything, for like a month and even then it was fabric, which kind of doesn't count because fabric is actually a supply for personal development since sewing is a hobby, but if you don't count the fabric I really haven't bought any wants since like December. Apparently, that's a huge sacrifice for me.) So my remedy for now, until I get the whole thing under control is window shopping. Or really, screen shopping. I enjoy looking at the websites of various merchants and seeing what they have that's new, that's on sale... And I dream, and then I just "walk away." It's a lot easier to walk away from the screen than it is to walk away from a tangible item that you have touched, held in your hands, felt against your skin, caressed, fallen in love with, tried on, made room for in your heart, and unsuccessfully tried to imagine your life without...

So I have a problem. Apparently. What's a blog for if not to act as a confessional? Forgive me for I have shopped...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Doo doo doo DOOO!!!

Hello. And welcome to Thursday. It's the day before Friday. And I love Fridays. So naturally, I have fond feelings for Thursdays as well.

What's for dinner, you ask? Well, certainly not the ricotta, ground beef and random vegetable goulash we had last night. Tonight, we're having... wait for it... chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes. Does it get any more comfort foody than that? I think not.

You know what I did? I overdid it with my exercises. TC and I decided to step it up to Phase 3-4 in our Power 90 workout with Tony Horton, so on Monday we did the weights routine. It's not much more than we did before in Phase 1-2; we just add a whole lot of squats. A LOT! And some more push-ups. And for some reason I decided that I had graduated from girly push-ups (on my knees), to full blown push-ups. What was I thinking?

Then, the next morning before I could really feel the full extent of my overdoing, we did a Pilates buns & thighs routine (with Mari Winsor). By about mid-afternoon I realized that I no longer had any normal movement of my thighs. I walked around all of Tuesday and the bulk of yesterday like a Zombie, or a Weeble Wobble, or a Weebly Wobbly Zombie. And the grunting. Let's not forget the grunting and complaining at every movement. I'm such a baby. So we haven't done our Tony routines since Monday, but we have managed to fit in some Pilates, so at least we did something, right?

You may be wondering how TC handled the new workout. Well, he was mildly sore.

Yes. That's really all I have to say about how he handled the new work out. **sigh**

Today, ignoring the muscle spasms in my thigh, I think I'm ready to do the Phase 3-4 Cardio workout. I'm going to sweat like a pig. And pant like a dog. And smell like a goat. And afterward, eat like a horse, if horses ate chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Have you ever...

... overdone it with squats and leg exercises and then struggled to walk and sit and bend at the waist the whole next day because you were so sore?

Yeah. Me either.

-written from the couch.

What's next?

I cut out the Oscar suit (Vogue 2950) and was able to finish off the skirt this weekend. The pattern calls for Hong Kong finishing on all the seams (sewing bias tape on every raw edge), which I had never done. The finished product is quite stunning and I love the look of those finished seams. It's a lot more elegant than serged seams. One issue: I cut it out in a 12 and it was a size plus a bit too bit, so I cut it down to a 10 and then sewed the seams a little bit bigger than the seam allowance. Unfortunately I also cut the jacket out in a 12. So I will likely go back and re-cut all the pieces in a 10. The jacket also calls for a Hong Kong finish, so I'm excited to stretch my skills and give it a try.

Next up this month are the following:
1. Finish the ruffle dress (Simplicity 2497).

2. Make two tops.
  • New Look 6732, view E: the cute little white polka dot one with a Peter Pan collar and puff sleeves. I think I will put different sleeves on it since the collar is already pretty cutesy. I'm going to make it in a stretch poplin floral in white, blue and yellow. I'm really looking forward to this project.
  • New Look 6808, view C: the pink one with a bow on the collar. I may leave the bow off the collar, however, because I realize that so many pieces in my closet are cutesy. There's only so much cutesy I can take. I'm going to make this in an ivory stretch cotton poplin.
3. Finish the shorts I cut out several years ago (McCalls 5391). They will be in a stretch denim.

4. Play with a Lucky jeans remix that is probably not worth the time. I bought a pair of Lucky brand jeans from the DI forever ago. When I got them home I realized that they were entirely mom jean style. And bigger than the size on their tag would indicate. So I decided that I would pull the fabric apart and see if I can re-purpose it. I'm hoping to make a pair of capris.

Also, I wanted to thank you readers for the support in my projects. It's great positive reinforcement to keep me going. Plus, mentioning projects here keeps me motivated to finish them. You guys are so much cheaper than therapy, or shock treatments.

So that's what I have on the docket. Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy planning ahead?

Update: I wrote this yesterday (Monday) in the throes of boredom. Last night I cut out the two tops in number 2 above. I did cut out the bow on the second shirt, and on the first, I decided to go with the puff sleeves, but I shortened them a bit.

Monday, March 8, 2010


One month ago, I happened upon this image on the internets.

And my heart began to pound with overwhelming love for these tiny furry animals with pink paws and noses. So loveable, and cute and warm and cuddly. I wanted one. Bad.

So like any sane person would do, I turned to Facebook for solace, and advice.

I wrote:
Can a person who wears a lot of black and is fastidious about their home and furniture and clothing own a cat? I'm just wondering because I saw this photo, which is pretty much the most adorable photo of a kitten ever, and now I feel an overwhelming urge to have a small furry animal in my home. Especially one that has pink paws.

And these were the responses:

KKL: I hate my cats. There, I said it. :)

Gordita: You hate them personally? Or because they leave fur? Or because they track kitty litter around? Or because they jump around wildly?

MB: impossible to make that work, don't cave KR!

KKL: All of the above. Mostly the fur. It will make you nuts.

BF: Don't do it girl. They're deceiving. Kittens are adorable but CATS are hairy, smelly, many people are allergic ( we can only stay at the ****'s for an hour or so before we both have to hit the benadryl), and they scratch everything. Will they let you have a kitty there?

Gordita: on the whole being allowed thing? I was just going to circumvent the rules. Not that I was considering this very seriously. Why do those baby animals have to be so cute. It's just wrong.

BF: I think it's baby everything I think. Little monsters. I think their adorableness is the only reason species are propogated!

SPS: I am insanely in live with my cat. He is perfect. You just have to find the right one for your family. A little fur ball is out there for you and he needs a home =)

KM: Get a hairless cat. They're so ugly it's cute!

RS: Just stock up on lint rollers and vacuum filters. Our cat is a joy but I've had a cat before that was nothing but trouble so it's really a tossup. kind of like children ;)
Get a kitten so you can mold their habits young!

MP: animal hair is just a way of life. kinda like everything that comes with kids!

GKCII: I love my dog but hate the hair. We vacuum once a day and there is still hair. I must say though the entertainment my dog offers is more than worth the hair

So the comments run the gamut. But really, are we going to compare having children to having pets? Here are my thoughts on the matter:

1. Children are flesh of your flesh, and at the very least, your same species. There is a connection there that cannot be replicated through pet adoption.

2. Having children is a commandment (believe me, I've been reminded of this one over and over). I don't believe there is such a commandment for pets.

3. Children eventually grow up and learn how to take care of themselves. Will a cat eventually learn how to clean her own litter box and open her own can of Fancy Feast? Will a dog eventually learn to pour his own dog food and take himself out for a walk, and scoop up his own waste to properly dispose of it?

So in three simple arguments, I believe I have set to rest the argument that having children is like having pets.

But there still lives within me an urge to have a small, furry creature in my home. Until reality sets in, which are these points:

1. I live in a place that has a firm no pets rule.

2. I really do wear a lot of black.

3. We live in 900 sq ft. It's kind of small to share with an animal that enjoys jumping and running and doing their business in a private place (there really isn't any place private).

4. I am particular about the way my home smells, and cat accessories (like kitty litter and their food) have a distinct smell that is not pleasing to my olfactories.

5. Cats tend to track kitty litter around the house and that would drive me crazy because more often than not I am barefoot.

6. I really do wear a lot of black. Seriously.

So there you have it folks. I have successfully talked myself out of having a cat, once again. I'm glad you could join me for this.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

McCalls 5323, Pepto Pink Take 2

Here are the second try on sleeves for McCalls 5323. I really like these sleeves. They are quirky and fun, but still not crazy wacky. I'm really excited about this top.

Vogue 8593: the photos

So the pleated nick red knit dress, in all its glory.

What I ate: Tortilla Española

A WW recipe direct from their website, I made Tortilla Española the other night (which was the something exciting I ate and wanted to share with you).

Cast of characters:
3 medium potato(es), baking-variety, peeled, thinly sliced
3 large egg(s)
3 large egg white(s)
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion(s), chopped
4 slices of deli sliced ham

So, as usual, I used the directions in the recipe as mere guidelines. This is what I did:

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. I know the recipe called for canola, but I really just use olive oil for everything.

Throw in the potatoes, onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring almost constantly, until the potatoes are done (this took like 12 minutes for me even the recipe instructions said it would take 5). In the meantime mix up the eggs and whites. Then, when the potatoes are done, pour in the eggs trying to get it evenly distributed around the tatoes. Let it cook well without disturbing it. (I left it for like 7 minutes, but the recipe said it would only take 2 minutes. I like my eggs really dry.) Before flipping it I put ham on the top. Then I flipped it. (When I say I flipped it, I really mean that TC flipped it. And he has this cool technique that I'm probably the last person in the world to hear about, which is to put a plate on top of the tortilla in the pan, flip the skillet upside down so the contents fall on the plate, then slide it off back into the skillet.

So then I let it cook on the other side for another 7 minutes or so while TC ran down the hall to help a neighbor. I used the same technique TC used to flip the tortilla in order to get it out of the pan. Let it cool for 5 or so minutes while you clean up the mess you made in the kitchen and while you wait for TC to get back. Then cut into it and enjoy.

So if you wanted to cook it less on each side the potatoes probably wouldn't burn, but like I said, I like my eggs dry, so I wasn't going to take any chances.

I highly recommend this. It's delicious AND nutritious.

What I ate: Loaded Nachos

Loosely based on a WW recipe in their best of 2006 cookbook, I made loaded nachos last night. And oh my word, they were delicious!

The cast of characters (for two servings):
1/2 lb of ground turkey
1/4 of a medium onion, chopped
3/4 tsp of chopped garlic
Taco seasoning
Salt and pepper
Bottled salsa

Chopped avocado
Chopped tomato
More salsa
Anaheim peppers
2 tbsp of cheddar (I used little cubes because that's what I had, but grated would probably work better)
Sour cream (fat free)
Tortilla chips

So, I mixed a bunch of taco seasoning with the ground turkey, then threw that, the onions and garlic into a skillet (non-stick, so I didn't use any oil). I cooked that up, breaking up the turkey, until it was all cooked, then I added salt and pepper and about 1/2 cup of salsa. I mixed it all together and cooked until it was no longer liquidy.

Then, I layered on a Styrofoam plate (all our real plates were dirty and far be it from me to pull things out of the dishwasher to wash them. by. hand.) tortilla chips, the meat mixture, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, peppers, salsa, and lastly, sour cream.

This was delicious. Seriously. I hardly even noticed that there so little cheese. I strongly recommend these "nachos."

Wee! Thursday!

Good morning. Thank you for the sympathy you all offered. I really appreciate it. I realize that I may not have not found a good balance between being "real" by saying how I'm feeling, and being positive and upbeat. There are wonderful things going on in my life right now. There are so many things to be grateful for. And I am, indeed, grateful. So why the whining about once a week? That's the same thing I wonder myself.

Tuesday was interesting. A few irritating things happened, but nothing to send me off the edge to curse at dinner. But I found myself upset, and letting those small things get to me. And when I got so frustrated that dinner was ugly, that's when I really knew I was wound up. And it made me laugh a little at myself. I would love to know what goes on in my body chemistry, in my emotions, whatever, to cause such an inconsistency: sometimes little things really get to me, and other times it seems like I can tolerate anything. It's odd.

But enough of psycho-analyzing me. Because quite frankly I'm a bit embarrassed that I've put so much of my inner workings out there for the world to read. You never know who may be reading and judging and drawing conclusions and the like.

So, on to more fun things. Because today is a new day. Brand new. Brand SPANKING new. So let's do this. I have quite a few things to share with you, and I'm going to do it in a series of posts. Hope you enjoy reading!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Take a deep breath Gordi.

I'm wound up. Tight. I came home from work yesterday really wound up. I found myself getting angry and swearing at dinner because it was ugly (despite its resemblance to vomit, it did taste good). I went to bed wound up. I woke up in the middle of the night wound up. I found myself clenching my teeth and tensing my muscles while trying to go back to sleep. (In case any of you are wondering, tensing and clenching do not easily lead to sleep.)

This morning, I'm finding I need deep breaths. I would love to be in a warm, good-smelling place that's quiet and peaceful. Just thinking about it helps. Ahh... Peace...

Okay. I'm done with the whining for today. Yada yada yada. Life sucks sometimes. Just deal.

Now on to some news: I ripped out the sleeves of the pepto pink ruffle top, made normal looking sleeves and sewed them back in. Much better. I took pictures to show you, but the pictures are in my camera, so for now, you'll have to use your imaginations. Imagine the shirt not looking like a clown shirt. TADA!

Other news: I wore the red pleated neck knit dress on Sunday and took pictures. But again, the photos are on the memory card in the camera still. But I like the dress. TC likes the dress. I think it's a hit.

Even more news: I have a What I Ate for you. We ate something I found exciting and wanted to share with you, and I even took pictures, but... Can you guess what I'm going to say next? ... The photos are in my camera. Pplltt.

And one more item: I have been working on the navy Cynthia Rowley ruffle dress and I had to rip out a TON of stitches last night because I realized that I cut the waistband too big (that was kind of a nice surprise). But in this case, the stitch ripping was a bit therapeutic. I think I may have found my niche as far as stitch ripping goes: do it while you're angry and wound up. It's more enjoyable. YAY.

Photos to come soon. I hope. I love you all!