Sunday, January 30, 2011

Less Is More…

The following conversation took place at our house about two weeks ago while Hannah was playing in my make-up.

Hannah: Mommy, I like this one with the sparkles.
Me: Me too!
Hannah: Lemme put some on you.
Me: Okay…
Hannah: (stepping back to check her work) This might not be your color…

For the last 15 years or so, my husband, his dad, grandpa and uncles have had an annual guys day out in which they eat greasy food and spend hours upon hours walking around a local convention center filled with motorcycles, motorcycle parts, gear, paraphernalia and experts who have made it their life goal to know every single thing about motorcycles.

That left us girls on our own for the evening so we decided to head over to the mall to walk around and eat at Chick-Fil-A.  
I called my parents to see if they wanted to join us.  My dad declined and it was a good thing because Hannah said that Papa wasn’t allowed to go “because he’s not a guuuurrl.” 

Sorry, Papa.

We picked up my mom, ate dinner and stopped in a few stores.  My mom wanted to check out the fragrance by Beyonce, who she kept calling, “Bee-Yonz.”

At first I didn’t have the heart to correct her. 

So we found the Bee-Yonz fragrance in the department store and agreed that it is lovely and has a sweet, candy-like quality about it.  She decided not to purchase it, so we continued browsing and sniffing at all of the perfume and makeup counters. 
Before moving on from Bee-Yonz’s fragrance and glittery gold bag that is free with a purchase, a sweet lady wearing a smock approached us and asked if she could help.  My mom started to tell her that we were just there to try the Bee-Yonz perfume, but I couldn’t let her. 

I whispered, “Mom, it’s Bee-yon-say.”


“We were just looking at the Bee-Yon-SAAAY gift set.”

The smocked woman chatted us up a bit, asked us what kind of makeup we wore, showed us a few creams, eyeliners and whatnot. 

The next thing I knew, Hannah was up in the chair and the smocked woman was applying pink lip gloss to her lips.  Ever the girly girl, Hannah pointed to the big, fluffy blush brush. 

“Will you tickle my cheeks with that?”  

The smocked woman giggled and applied some blush to her cheeks.  She asked my permission first, which was much appreciated.

“Will you get me a tissue so I can blot?” 

The smocked woman, who by this time had become our smocked friend, roared with laughter and handed her a tissue.  Hannah blotted her lips like she’s seen me do a thousand times, set the tissue on the counter, crossed her legs and smiled at me. 

I think she may have aged 27 years in those few short moments.

So, yea. You’re right, sweet girl. 
That might not have been my color. 
But I think we found yours.

Lancome Counter

Tutorial: Super Kid Cape

A few weeks ago, Hannah started asking me if I would make her a cape.  Off to JoAnn Fabrics we went, 40% coupon in hand, to choose our fabric.  I was pretty impressed with Hannah’s selection: silver and teal with sparkles.

This was so easy to make. 
I had it finished in less than one hour.
Since it is not a garment, per se, there’s no need to worry about perfection.

You’ll need:
1 yard of fabric for top, 1 yard of fabric for bottom
Coordinating thread

Start by laying one piece of fabric out, folded so that the selvedge edges meet up.
I used one of Hannah’s t-shirts as a guide for the neckline. Using a fabric pencil, I traced the shape of the neckline from the center to about the shoulder.
From there, I drew a triangular shape and cut it out. 
You can see the fold in the center.
Then I used this as a pattern to cut out my other piece.
Using scraps from the blue fabric, I cut two strips that were each 2 inches x 22 inches. 
I folded each in half lengthwise (right side together) and sewed down the length and closed at one end. 
I turned each right side out to make the ties.
Then I sewed the two main pieces of the cape together, right sides facing each other, and stopped when I got to the neck.  I placed the tie pieces where I wanted them and tucked them into the cape so that they would be in place when turned right side out.  That sounds more complicated than it is. 
Maybe the pictures will help.
Finally, I continued to sew the pieces together, leaving a small opening to turn it right side out. 
Once I turned it right side out, I sewed that opening closed. 
Then I turned my little super hero loose!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In Which My Husband is Giddy

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately. 
I’ve always rated myself as just an average cook.
But recently, I think my stock has risen.

Enter The Pioneer Woman and her cinnamon rolls
And her lasagna.

I spent an afternoon making two trays of the yummy goodness that PW calls The Best Lasagna Ever. 
One for us and one for my in-laws. 
My husband’s reaction?
“Wow. Wow.  I feel like we’re in Tuscany.”

Best Lasagna Ever?  Rightfully named.

Next up were the cinnamon rolls. 
The recipe yields seven pans of rolls, but I ended up with five. 
I guess in all that made-from-scratch doughy excitement,
I sliced mine a bit thicker. 
They were delish, nonetheless. 
And washed down with a tall glass of milk?
Heavenly, I tell you.


So thanks, PW, for making me look like a
rock star in the kitchen.


I’m speaking his love language.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Everything Old Is New Again…

This is me in December of 1980. 
I was a little over 3 years old. 

I know this because on the back of every single photo that my parents have ever taken, my mom has carefully scripted the date, event and names of individuals in the photo. 
(Well, she did this up until about 2002 when my dad got himself one of them fancy digital cameras.)

This is Hannah today, sitting at the same little table and chairs set that I got for Christmas in 1980. 
She is the exact age that I was when I first sat here. 
Same table.  Same chairs.  Same age.
Different decade.  Different century.
And, most fortunately, different couch and flooring.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Stuff I Wanna Make

I’ve got a list of stuff I wanna make that is a mile long.
Here are the things at the top of that list.
Let’s get to it.

How cute are these Color Me Happy Candy Filled Clips?
I know a little someone who would
love to wear these in her hair.

The fabric combinations for this messenger bag
Endless, I tell you!

How cute is this Valentine’s Day pillow?

We love puzzles at our house and I usually store them in gallon sized zip lock bags to keep the pieces together. 
Why didn’t I think of

I guess I have a thing for pillows. 
This one gets my feathers all in a bunch.

I love me some subway art, especially this one
It involves a mitre box and hand saw,
so I’ll have to get the hubs in on the action.

You’ll know where to find me during naptime.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Toy Story and Some Ramblings

First things first - I took Hannah to see Toy Story 3 On Ice last weekend.  I may have been just as excited about it as she was. 

Here we are getting ready to leave for the show.  I made the shirt at Hannah’s request.  She was quite specific – she wanted Bullseye, an “H” and her name on it.  I’m not usually a fan of children’s clothing with characters on it, but I’m okay with this one, given the occasion.  I found the shirt and fabric at Hobby Lobby for a total of less than $6.




We arrived with plenty of time to spare, so we walked around before heading to our seats.  I think Hannah was as overwhelmed by the overpriced merchandise as I was. 


My husband, bless his heart, found these green glow stick/flashlight things for $2 at Target, which eliminated any requests for said overpriced merchandise.toystory4

The show was fantastic – the music, the skating, the costumes, the lights.  We ate snacks from my purse until we were stuffed.  Hannah laughed at all the right parts and pumped her fist in the air each time her beloved Bullseye skated onto the ice. 

And now on to the ramblings…

1. I served as a juror in a criminal trial two weeks ago.  After sitting in the courtroom for what seemed like a precious forever, hearing and seeing all the evidence, we were sent to the jury room to deliberate.  The room looked like the gate area of an airport and while I waited for further instruction with the other tourists, I mean jurors, I had to remind myself that we weren’t going anywhere.   We also got to wear badges to easily identify us as jurors so that as we walked around the courthouse for breaks and whatnot, no one would approach us to discuss anything about anything.  After a short deliberation, we came to a decision and I am confident that we made the right one.  Besides some new information that I gained regarding the law, I know two things: one can never be too careful with one’s words and this girl is done with courtrooms for a while.

2. I finished up my first project of 2011 and will be sharing a tutorial soon.  Here’s a sneak peek:


3.  When Hannah says her prayers at night, she has been ending it with, “And that’s all.  Amen. I’m done.”

4.  On New Year’s day, Shawn’s entire family played wii Just Dance.  I’ve not had so much fun in ages.   As my husband swung a pretend lasso at the end of “Viva Las Vegas,” I was reminded of one of the many reasons I married him.  No, not for his agile dance moves, but because underneath his strategic and analytical engineering mind, he is so silly and carefree and doesn’t care if he looks ridiculous.

5. Hannah has found herself a cowboy!  He’s all boy and has a twin sister that is as pretty as he is handsome. 

Video 173 0 00 01-06

6.  My car has been doing some strange things lately.  As it turns out there’s a little electrical problem under the hood.  The horn, for absolutely no reason has started honking on its own, whenever it well pleases.  And, oh sweet mercy, it is so embarrassing.  I just never know when it’s going to start up.  Sunday, I pulled into the driveway and it started honking, making one long, obnoxious fog horn sounding noise.  Shawn came flying out of the house and I just sat there, staring at him with my hands in the air, as if I was surrendering to law enforcement, mouthing, “I’m not touching it.  I’m not even touching it.”

And that’s all. Amen. I’m done.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Favorite Running Gear

With the new year in full swing, a lot of my friends and family members have made the commitment to working out and getting healthy in 2011.  I’ll admit, I’ve never really been one for resolutions, but fortunately, I’m one of those types that enjoys working out.  I go through lulls, however, throughout the year when I skip workouts and eat poorly, but it really doesn’t take much to get me motivated to get back at it.
I typically run during the spring and summer months and a bit into fall.  I’m not at all a true runner, nor am I fast by any measure, but once I find my groove, I really enjoy running.  Ok, I don’t always enjoy the actual running, but I love the way I sleep at night and the sense of accomplishment I feel from a good, long run.

In 2008, I ran my first half marathon.  Here’s a picture of me and Hannah (6 months) just back from our first run together.  She trained with me for that half marathon, thanks to my friends who had surprised me with a jogging stroller when I was pregnant.


So, my favorite gear.

Most important: shoes.  If you are committed to running, I suggest spending the bucks for the right shoe for you.  It makes all the difference.  I have friends who love Mizuno and Saucony, but I am a Nike girl, through and through.  My current shoe is the Nike Vomero 4.  No, I didn’t get them because they’re pink (not gonna lie – I LOVE that they are pink!) but because they are super cushy, hold my narrow heel nicely and hit just the right spot on my ankles.  They also provide the arch support that I need.


Speaking of arches, I have high ones that need lots of tlc, so PowerSox are my fave.  In fact, they’re the only socks I run in.  They give a little extra support around the arches and cushion at the ball of the foot.  And they are not expensive at all.  Three pairs come in a pack for less than $10.


I’m not a busty girl, but a good sports bra is a must for running.  I like the Adidas Training Energy Bras.  When I return from a run, I put mine in a sink of sudsy water and then hand wash and rinse it before I go to bed.  This is gentler than a machine wash and will help it last longer.  I always line dry my sports bras – the heat from the dryer can cause the fabric to deteriorate and the elastic to lose shape.

For outer gear, I am not terribly picky.  I am not opposed to going for a run in a pair of shorts and an old t-shirt, because let’s face it, running clothes take a beating, especially if you do any trail running.  However, I do have a few favorites in this category.  I love Brooks Podium SS.  I have one in white and pink.  It’s lightweight, fits loosely and wicks moisture away.  I always wear my pink one on race day so that my family can spot me in the crowd.  I’ve been running in these shirts for about 4 years and they have held up nicely.



Since I am a mostly fair weather runner, I typically run in shorts, but in the fall, I will wear capris or pants.  I prefer the shorts with the undies built in – they are just more comfortable for me.  I have the Nike Tempo shorts with DriWeave.  They are so comfortable around the waist and are the perfect length (I’m about 5’5”).  You’ll never catch this girl running in shorty shorts!


There are times when I do run in pants, and I like Brooks Glycerin Running Pants.  They are looser fitting, comfortable at the waist,  and wick moisture away.  I am not a big fan of running tights, although I know lots of people that love them.  I just feel better in something a bit looser. 


I know.  I know.  The water bottle fanny pack.  Under no other circumstance do I condone a fanny pack, and yes, I am aware that it may look dorky, but this is a must have for me on long runs.  This is the one that I have – the Nathan Muse Women’s Hydration Pack.  It sits nicely on the waist and surprisingly, the bottle does not jiggle around.  There are also two pockets to hold a cell phone, car keys, chap stick and whatnot.  Sometimes I carry a little bag of pretzels or gummy bears in there.


So, overall, I don’t spend a lot on running gear.  I do buy a new pair of shoes each year, but as for the rest, purchasing quality gear as paid off.  For some items, the initial investment may seem like a splurge, but it can be balanced with less expensive pieces elsewhere.

Happy running, friends!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Bit Belated

Happy “2nd Annual 29th”
birthday to my fun, hip and stylish sister!
I love these pictures of her from her party. 

traci bday3

traci bday2

Traci bday

You still got it, girl!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Little Miss played in the make-up.

I finally bought the ingredients to make these.
She zonked out on the couch.
While I washed and chopped lots of fruits and veggies.
We were promised snow, and it was delivered.
Yea, it’s cold…
And this mama’s finally on the mend.
What did you do today?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Hour Of Life…



“No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.”
                                                ~Winston Churchill

Sunday, January 2, 2011


And, the 2010 holiday season ended just as it began…


Over dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant
with the two people that I love most.

Welcome, 2011. 
I can’t wait to see what you have in store.