Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cooking funk

No, I don't mean the cooking OF funk, but rather the funk that I'm in regarding cooking. I'm just SO not in the mood. I don't know if it's the summer factor or the princess-going-through-an-incredibly-picky-mode factor, or Prince Charming being gone SO dang much factor or what, but I'm lucky to make chalupas or beans and rice these days. I need some new QUICK, EASY recipes for the summer. Maybe Crock-Pot ones! Then on days like today, when a phone call leads to a spur of the moment trip to the lake which turns into 8 hours out of the house (ultimately ending at Taco Bell... I know... I know.... TACO BELL! But we love it. Don't tell anyone), I can have supper waiting when I get home. Lately, my Crock-Pot cooking is stuck on pinto beans, a really good chicken recipe (I'll post below), or pork chops and apples (a la my friend Dianne. SO yummy). Anyone with good recipes or links or ideas is encouraged to leave a comment, please!!!

Italian Chicken with Mushrooms
from 101 Things to do with a Slow Cooker
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1/4 c. water
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
2 bottles whole mushrooms (drained) (These are fairly small bottles, like 4 inches tall, I'd say)

Place chicken in greased slow cooker. Combine salad dressing mix and water, pour over chicken. Cover and cook on high heat for 3 hours. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and soup until blended. Stir in mushrooms. Pour over chicken and cook 2 more hours on high.

Serve over egg noodles.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Could someone PLEASE explain to me why, when the Hurricane insists on doing everything for herself, she's happy with this scenario?

Hurricane: Mommy, I milk. (Mommy, I want milk)
Mommy: OK, I'll get you some. (Mommy walks to the fridge and grabs the sippy cup full of milk and hands to Hurricane)
Hurricane: NO! Mommy! I RED one!
Mommy: :::sigh::: OK, her you go (puts back the blue sippy and hands her the red sippy, while coming up with explanation for resident princess in her head as to why her milk cup magically changed colors mid-day. Maybe a unicorn did it? And yes, my 4 yr old still gets milk in a sippy, as long as her sister is awake anyway, b/c if HRH gets milk in a NONsippy, then the Hurricane must have milk in a non-sippy and that just spells disaster all around the castle. HRH understands she doesn't NEED a sippy, she's doing it to help Mommy out and Mommy is properly appreciative. )
Hurricane: NO! Mommy! I DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!! YUYU DO IT! I BIG GIRL! NO WANT-A MOMMY GET-A MILK!!! (side note - do all toddlers go through this Italian-speaking phase or is it just mine? I think it's darling :) ) MOMMY MOOSH OVER!(our house's way of saying "move and push together). YUYU ALL MYSELF.

At which time she opens the fridge door, puts the red cup back on the shelf. Closes the door, and gets the red cup, taking a big drink and looking supremely satisfied with herself.

HRH: Mommy, Lulu's crazy.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Upside down plants?

So, I got the super cool idea to plant some upside down tomato plants. SO cool, right? Especially since I have a tendency to cram WAY too many plants into my little garden patch and then nothing fruits @@. So, I used admirable restraint this year and only planted some grape tomatoes and rosemary in my little garden patch, there's also some spearmint, which jumped out of a pot last year evidently, and is popping back up. I truly believe that if a nuclear bomb went off, all you'd see surviving are cockroaches and spearmint, LOL!!! That stuff is insane! Anyway, I digress.

So, my trusty sidekick neighbor and I and the girls planted one with cherry tomatoes and one with yellow crookneck squash (my girls and I could eat our weight in this stuff!) We sprinkled chives seeds in the top of the tomatoes and dill weed seeds in the top of the squash and hung both pails on an old laundry line that I have in my backyard. It's an eyesore and I keep meaning to plant some ivy at the base to let it at least be covered. I need to do that soon. But, still, it served its purpose well in this. This picture was taken through the screen on my breakfast room window, that's why it's a little fuzzy :

The tomato was a little damaged in the planting process (note to self..... letting a 2 yr old, 4 yr old, and 10 yr old do the actual PLANTING of the delicate tomato plant upside down? Probably not the best move). I had my doubts, but pressed on. The squash looked gorgeous! One week later, the tomato? No bueno. :( The stem had become all yellow and soggy and limp. Sad, sad, sad. I mourned the loss of potential perfect red juicy tomatoes that I was going to halve and skewer with mozzarella chunks and basil leaves and red onion and grill (IF they made it to the grill before I started snacking). A moment of silence, if you will..........

OK, pity party over. We still have our beloved squash! Right? Right! Right?!?!?!??! A week or so ago, we had some torrential downpours in the middle of the night. I was up at 2:00 AM, checking the Weather Channel and Fox News for reports of an ark being built and people sprouting webbed feet, but nothing yet. Anyway, about two days later, I noticed that my squash plant was starting to look soggy. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP!!!! What the heck is going on!?!?! I can't figure it out. I keep reading online about how people are having all sorts of success with these upside down plants, what am I doing wrong?!?!?!? My squash is dead, no hopes of revival! :*( Thankfully, the growing season is so long here that I'm going to grab a plant or two and put them in some large pots I have. We'll still get some squash, by golly. There is no chance of replanting in the upside down pots, either, b/c the chives and dill are growing like crazy, lol!! Oh well, maybe next year? For this year, we'll have to stick with downside-up, I guess.

On a brighter note, my grape tomato plant has two little green tomatoes and LOTS of blooms! Yippee! Now if I could only see some blooms on my strawberry plant!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


We spent yesterday evening at the lake. It was gorgeous, we took Papi and TiTi's boat over to a little island (and by little I seriously mean like as small as a football field, lol) and beached it and let the girls play in the sand. Then we motored around a bit, looking at the insanely huge houses that are going up. Evidently, Montgomery County, TX, hasn't heard about the housing bubble burst. Shhhhh....... we don't want them to, at least until we sell our current casa next year or so. After that, we motored over to Papa's. A huge hot pink and turquoise warehouse looking hangout with those big garage doors that they open so that the whole thing has an open air feel. SO much fun. We met Papi and some friends there for burgers. They have a nice pool, which is for adults only, which sucks for the lovebugs, but someone had the foresight to also build a really cool waterfall area for the kiddos to play in. My lovebugs and my friend's lovebugs were playing over there, as sweet as can be, when after about 15 minutes, HRH comes running and screaming and crying to our table, where said friend, Prince Charming, Papi and I were munching fried pickles and partaking of a nice cold Shiner Bock. I bolt out of my chair and run to her to find out that some snot-nosed punk of a 5 yr old (I'm taking liberty with the child's character, as he HAS just hurt my baby!) has blasted her in the face with sand and water via a water bazooka or whatever you call those. This is where the GRRRRRRRRRRR factor comes in. I am generally a very nice person. I love children, even bratty ones usually. However, if someone, ANYONE messes with my child and my child isn't asking for it (because let's face it, sometimes they do :X), WATCH OUT! I morphed into Mama Bear.

I imagine that, had one looked closely enough, they might have seen steam coming out of my ears and nostrils. HRH had sand in her eyes and was literally screaming because they hurt so bad, she couldn't even open them. Once I used the water from the waterfall to clean her eyes out and get her calmed down enough to put her down, I took a few deep breaths and turned my gaze upon little Punky McPunkface. I'm not sure if that's his real name, but I'm not ruling anything out. I'm ashamed to admit that I got all "Mama's shaking her finger" on him. You'd think I could be more original than that @@. Anyway, I told him, "That was NOT nice. You do NOT spray people in the face! You need to apologize to her, tell her you're sorry, do you understand me?!" In my world, that's pretty harsh talk. Imagine my pride when that lecture from me (who must have looked a LITTLE scary, this crazy storkish looking 6 foot tall lady to a 3 1/2 foot tall 5 yr old) made the little boy stop dead in his tracks, tell me "Sorry." and then have his face crumple up and he started crying and ran around to hide behind the waterfall. Oh, yeah. I'm SO proud. Good gravy, Juli. Way to go. You broke down a kindergartener. Woo hoo. Next let's go beat up a 90 yr old grandma over a parking space or something. I immediately feel like dog poop. I go find him and give him a hug and tell him that I'm sorry he got upset, but that it was not okay to throw sand in someone's face because it HURT her. He's fine, I'm fine (albeit still feeling like a heel), when we go back to play in the water, and I look up and see P. McP.'s father coming over to check on him. Eeek! Imagine if you will Andre the Giant crossed with that biker dude from Raising Arizona

Throw in a dash of Larry the Cable Guy and you get what I was seeing :X Ruh Roh. Where the heck is PAPA BEAR?!?!?!? I steel myself for a confrontation (which I HATE). McP Sr. comes up to me and says "Is everything okay here? I saw him shoot her in the face.... is she okay? He's really sensitive, so don't worry about his crying, he has to know he can't do that". :X Wow. Judge a book by the cover much, Juli? That'll learn ME. He was really nice, Punky McP DID apologize after all, so the kids started playing together again and all was right with the world. ::::Sigh:::: I love summer :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hear that little birdie?!

The one that's following me around saying "Cheap! Cheap!" Yes, it's true, I am a notorious cheapskate. I prefer the term "thrift shopper", though, so since this is MY blog, I decree you must refer to me as that, OK? OK! Anyway, here's my thing...... I have one of those what SHOULD be super nifty Swiffer things. I love it, in theory. In reality? It takes THREE of those little swiffer wet pads to clean my kitchen and office area. Ick. What a pain, not only to have to use up three every time, but also to have to stop midway and change them out. So I decided to research a way to use something else. Preferably something non-disposable, as I do try to live a little greener than I used to. I found tutorials to knit covers (I don't knit, but my dear sister Lara does, and she's the smartest, prettiest, nicest knitter I know!! Think that will score me a cover or two? :) ), crochet covers (this I CAN do, in theory, but isn't always easy when you have HRH demanding to be taught to crochet when she sees me do it, then having to deal with the whole royal indignation "We are not amused" bit when she doesn't pick it up immediately), etc., etc., etc. SO, the thought came to me..... why can't I just use the Hurricane's old prefolds that she's grown out of, soaked in a vinegar and water solution? I also have several old flannel receiving blankets that may fall victim to my experimenting. Right now they're happily residing in the Rose Petal Cottage, so let's not tip them off, the carnage MAY be unnecessary if the prefolds work out. I'll keep you posted.

It's not 100% about the money on the Swiffer brand ones, let's call 40% for the environment, ok? 20% for the inconvenience of having to go to the store to actually get them, and the last 40% for the fact that as I fork over the $3-5 for them, my mind is saying, "this could buy me a yard of Tutti Frutti plisse that's on 50% off right now at Hancocks!!!!!!!!". Fabric.... it's a disease. An addiction. Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Juli and I'm a Fabriholic. And I have no desire to be rehabilitated..... Prince Charming, on the other hand, might like to get the stash reduced a bit, or at least not INCREASE it any more, as it now occupies a chest of drawers in the garage, half of his storage closet in the garage, and the majority of open spaces in my dining room :X

On an unrelated note, the Hurricane has fully grasped the concept that I have a name other than Mommy now. We are thrilled, as this would have come in handy during the Great KidzFest Disappearance and subsequent Taking 30 Years Off of Mommy's Life..... but her walking up to me and saying "Juli, I like-a Goldfish peese" isn't quite as endearing as the "Mommy, I weally hungwy" :*)

Monday, May 19, 2008


The perfect ending to a great Sunday :)
Two enthusiastic sous chefs:
One Mommy rocking her new apron that the resident princess made at preschool:

1/2 c. Crisco
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. rolled oats
1 bag milk chocolate chips
Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda:
Then add to first mixture. Add oats, then either switch to dough hook on mixer or begin mixing by hand, as dough will become VERY thick. Add chocolate chips and blend well. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

Not much happening in our world this morning (thank GOODNESS!!!!), so I thought I'd do a little post, revealing my favorite guilty pleasures, and challenge anyone who reads and blogs to do the same. No fibbing, no hiding things, and no shame, LMAO!!!!!!

~Perez Hilton. He's tacky, crass, and unabashedly rude. And I can't stop checking out his page. :X

~The GFY girls. ( It's a totally safe link, sounds bad, but it's fashion criticism done in a wicked funny way.

~McDonald's cheeseburgers. I don't eat them often, and they're barely a recognizable food group, but they are SO yummy to me!

~Hell's Kitchen. The contestants are idiots. I don't understand how they can work with knives and not cut their own fingers off or something of the sort, but I just LURVE Gordon Ramsay. Even when he's screaming and yelling at them, I swear I'd die if I ever saw him in real life, I'd have to make an idiot of myself in front of him and be all superfan-y.

~M&Ms. I make no secret of the fact that I have a little helping of them every single night in my bubble bath. I have been known to go to the grocery store specifically for them if we're running low. We can do without milk, eggs, cereal, bananas..... but M&Ms? Perish the thought!

~Disney shows. I admit it. I sit with my girls (who happen to be preteens stuck in toddler bodies) and watch Suite Life, Hannah Montana, and life with Derek. And I LOVE it. I love Disney movies, too. I can't wait for Camp Rock to come out. I think Nick Jonas is an absolute doll!

~Reality cooking shows. Like the aforementioned HK, they don't even have to be GOOD shows. I just love them. HK, Top Chef, The Next Food Network Star, and Iron Chef. Although, I admit that I'm not as into the American version of Iron Chef as the REAL one. There's just no comparison, and I miss the real one. It used to come on at 10:00 and I would watch at least until they unveiled the secret ingredient every night. I'd feel a little thrill when they'd have something icky like squid that they had to catch themselves in the giant aquarium. THAT's good tv, lol!!!

~Rush Limbaugh. I know, I know, I know. You either love him or you hate him. He cracks me up. And in high school, I DESPISED him. There was a guy I went to school with, Darren, who read his book and would share snippets of wisdom with me just to irritate the hell out of me, lol. I should track him down and email him to let him know I'm a fan now, lol. Case in point, (if you're not a Rush fan, or you ARE a Hillary supporter, just skip to the next one now, you'll thank me later).....

~People magazine. Complete waste of my time to read it, when I could SO be doing something a little more productive, but I just love it!

~90s hair bands. Guns & Roses, Poison, Extreme (Nuno..... :::::Sigh::::), Bon Jovi, Skid Row (I was beyond thrilled when Sebastian Bach turned up on the Gilmore Girls, lol!!!), Motley Crue, Warrant, Def Leppard. I'd still rather listen to them than the stuff coming out today. Much to the chagrin of my very music-forward sister, Lara, but she still loves me anyway.

~My little email loopie friends. I've only ever met one of these ladies in real life, but I talk to them on a constant basis. Sometimes upwards of 100 emails a day. Before you gasp, keep in mind that these are conversations akin to girlfriends chatting over coffee. So each email is one little snippet from a conversation. Sometimes it's just a "LOL!" or an "I couldn't agree more". But I love these ladies and would be lost without them. When I go on vacation and don't have access to email, I miss them. Prince Charming can't quite believe it when I get a text message from one that my email inbox is full (meaning I have 1000 emails). I think he sometimes thinks I spend too much time on the computer, but some days, this is the only adult conversation I get and therefore what keeps me sane!

Your turn!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Take me away!!!!!!!!

What a few weeks!!! I had a bad case of bronchitis (of COURSE during teacher appreciation week), then HRH was up all night throwing up and had to miss her last day of school :*(. She was crying at 3 AM, saying "I don't want to miss my last school, Mommy".... awwwwwwwwww. That was Thursday. And NOW the Hurricane is throwing up. It's not a really bad virus, they act like they feel fine, and then BLWAH...... throw up everywhere. Lovely, I tell you. And the Hurricane did it earlier and I didn't think anything of it, I thought she had gagged herself b/c she always has her hands in her mouth, and as soon as she finished, she asked for pizza. Let me just tell you now that three slices of pizza is NOT easy to catch in your hands :X Even if you are 6 feet tall and have big old German potato-picking hands like me! Especially if you're simultaneously talking on the phone to your mother and trying to convince your resident princess that she MUST rush to the kitchen and get a towel as fast as she can..... then you have to tell her that it doesn't matter WHAT color towel she gets..... no, you REALLY don't care.... nope, no preference between green or white.... yes, you're telling the truth, you just want a towel as fast as she can bring it, thank you very much.....yes, a yellow towel would be PERFECT! And could you get the phone from Mommy's ear and tell GaGa I'll call her back and press the blue button? What a good helper you are!

Thankfully, I had some Zofran on hand still from last October (doesn't expire until next September, yippee!) when the Hurricane caught a bug at Texas Children's downtown and we hadn't even opened until HRH was sick last week. So I administered Zofran (her) and a Samuel Adams Summer Ale (Mommy). And don't you know that my niece and 3 month old nephew were over today for about 30 minutes. I really don't think she touched him, but I had to make that dreaded "um, my kid's sick" call :X. And another friend came over today with her 9 month old... ACK! If you're reading this, Neile, I tried to call you!!!!!!!

SO......... I have kitchen counters!!!!!!!!!!

Look at Prince Charming working ::::sigh:::: aren't fix-it men dreamy? ;) He even installed our new cooktop, which I'm LOVING......

except now I'm convinced that I need a new wall oven. Him? Not so much.... I'm really proud of us that we did everything ourselves except for the countertops. We still have to glaze the cabinets and do the backsplash. I'm 99% sure we're going to go with a tile like this:

I just have to figure out how to do tile now! LOL!!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tiered twirl skirt tutorial :)

************Added 8/8/08 -- I see this entry is getting a LOT of hits.... I'd love to hear comments from anyone who reads. It is clear and easy to follow? What would you like to have seen that I didn't explain or show clearly? I'm working on a couple more tutes and I'd love to hear what y'all think of this one.... and if you made a skirt from this one, I'd KILL to see it :) :) :) Link me! *****************

This will be a LONG post, so if you're not into sewing, just skip it, LOL!! And if you're a by-the-books sewer? For your own sanity, you'll probably not want to read any further. It'll drive you crazy!

OK, I took lots of pictures (I'm adding them in the blog small, but you should be able to click on them to see full-sized ones, I think), and I hope that they help. This skirt has three tiers and a ruffle on the bottom. The waistband is built into the top tier. I made this one for HRH, who has a waist measurement of 20 inches. She's 36 pounds and 41 inches tall. It hits her mid-to-lower calf. Not ankle-length, but not knee length.

I used these fabrics:

I got them at Hobby Lobby. Seersucker/plisse is awesome for summer! I like to use a rotary cutter and mat to cut my fabric, but you certainly don't need one. However, if you're going to make many things like this, you may want to invest in one. You can go to Hobby Lobby's website and print a 40% off coupon and use towards it :) I do that for anything over $10, lol!

This is a three-tiered skirt and ruffled bottom. My top tier and ruffle are the same fabric, the blue floral. My tiers are all going to be 5 inches tall un-sewn. I'll add two inches to the top tier to account for the waistband. So, I cut a 30 inch by 7 inch strip for the waistband. Then I cut a 45 inch (top tier x 1.5) by 5 inch band for the middle tier out of the pink paisley. Then a 67.5 (middle tier x 1.5) by 5 inch band for the bottom tier of the stripe. The ruffle is 135 (bottom tier x 2) by 4 inches. I know that sounds tell for a ruffle, but there's a no-hem trick coming up later :)

You start at the bottom and work your way up. It's easier to attach the gathered layers, and also you get the hardest part out of the way first! Win-win!! To make the ruffle, you're going to fold it in half, wrong sides together, you *can iron it, but you don't have to. I don't if I'm working with anything other than a cotton woven.

You're going to set your sewing machine's stitch length as high as it can go (check your manual, it's different for all machines. I told a friend to set hers to 5 and she almost drove herself crazy trying to figure out what the heck I was talking about. Turns out, hers isn't measured that way, LMAO!). Technically, you SHOULD sew TWO gathering stitches, but I never do. Don't tell anyone. The reasoning behind this is that if your thread breaks mid-gather (and it will one day if you do this enough times, trust me!), you'll have the other one to keep going, instead of having to start over from scratch, which sucks (again, trust me! LOL!). You'll sew a straight stitch (set on the longest length) to close your little folded ruffle. Sew it about 1/4 inch from the edge.... a quick guide is that on most machines, you'll have just a teeny bit of fabric showing out of the edge of the sewing machine foot. I just use the edge of the foot as my guide. You'll notice that my fabric is coming out already a little ruffled. You can do this if you adjust your machine tension as high as it can go, I turn mine to 9. The only thing you need to remember if you do this is to turn it back to normal immediately when you're done.

This is what I ended up with.... the ruffle snake, the girls call it.

You're going to gather this and pin it to the stripe, which is your bottom layer. Here is a great tutorial from YouTube about gathering and attaching:

Explains it MUCH better than I could. Doesn't she sound sweet? LOL!

In order to gather more evenly, I attach the middle of the ruffle to the middle of the stripe, and gather my way in, pinning every few inches. This is best done while catching up on your DVRed Deadliest Catch, in my opinion. While your children run around you shrieking "EW! Crabs! They're yucky! Ack! They'll PINCH you!" and you have to pause every three seconds and throw yourself across the fabric to keep them from stepping on a straight pin. Tip of the day? Teach them a new song and a little something else to keep them occupied. Today was the "Lollipop" song, complete with making the popping sound with your finger. Good for 15 minutes of sheer gathering heaven aloneness.

Now, you need to sew this together. Set your stitch length back to normal, mine is 2.2. If you forget to do it, it's not the end of the world, but you'll need to go back over it one more time with the shorter stitch length. I try to sew right over my gathering stitch. Try being the operative word there, I can never get it perfect, but hey, let's be real.... I'm not a perfectionist, as I'm sure you know by now :)

You'll need to finish off your edges so that they won't become an unravely mess through wear and washing. I'm going to serge mine, but you can just as effectively do a zigzag stitch over the edge of the fabric: (you won't be able to see this probably, unless you click on it to enlarge it.)

This is what you have so far, if you look at the right side of the fabric:

Now you'll do the exact same thing to the next tier. Make a gathering stitch (or two) (don't' forget to reset your stitch length as long as it can go!) in the striped fabric and then pin it to the pink paisley fabric.

Then you sew the gathered stripe tier to the pink paisley tier. Don't forget to set your stitch length back to normal! Finish it off by zig-zagging. Here's where we are now:

Now we're going to attach the top tier, we're going to make the waistband after we attach everything. Do it exactly the same as the other two tiers. Make your gathering stitch on the top of the pink paisley. (Set stitch length long!) Pin to the blue floral. Then sew together (Reset stitch length!) Finish off by zig-zagging. And presto! We're almost done!

Now we need to close the skirt. You'll sew a seam down the side (right sides of the fabric together, wrong sides facing out), making sure to catch the ends of the fabric so there aren't any holes (voice of experience speaking here!). Finish that seam off by zig-zagging. (Mine looks just a little different b/c I serged the seams, but you get the general idea).

OK, waistband time. Fold over about 1/4 inch of the top of the material, and press with an iron.

Then fold over about an inch and press again.

Now we're going to close the waistband, except for about 2-3 inches of it. You have to leave that open to put the elastic in. Stitch the waistband closed, leaving that opening.

Cut your elastic. I like to use non-roll elastic, for this one, I used 3/4 inch. HRH's waist is 20 inches, I cut the elastic 19 inches. I generally do about an inch less than the waist. Get a large safety pin to use to thread the elastic through the waistband.

When you get close to the back end of the elastic being pulled through, I usually get a straight pin and secure it, b/c you don't want it to go through the waistband yet.

Pull the elastic all the way around, the fabric will gather as you do this.

Now you need to stitch the elastic closed. I overlap about an inch or so.

Then I sew it together with a zig-zag stitch.

pull the waistband to get the elastic back in the casing and stitch it closed.


Lettuce Edges!!!

So I've been wanting to try to use the serger to make some lettuce edge exposed seam knit dresses, but I've been putting it off. I finally found some darling knit at Hobby Lobby and decided to just bite the bullet and go for it. Those who know me well know that I don't sew from a pattern. I just can't be confined like that, lol. So, HRH's dress took a little longer than I expected, as I was kind of making it up as I went along. Still, I think it turned out pretty adorable :) The Hurricane's took NO time at all. That knit gathers so easily just by setting my stitch length long and turning my tension to a 9. It's awesome! I'm having such a blast making these little dresses for my girls. I'm about to take the plunge and try to make something for myself. I bought some material to try to make a cute top, but I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to make it yet, lol.

And the novelty of the new dress wore off after about an hour and HRH decided this was the preferred outfit of the day:

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there! May you spend the day doing whatever makes your heart happy :)
Flo, I'm cutting into a tiered twirly skirt today during the Hurricane's nap :) :) :) Depending on how long she sleeps, I may be able to post pics tonight or tomorrow morning.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Think Happy Thoughts

This is taken from a girl I grew up with's blog : Bloggish. She made a list of random things that make her happy and asked her readers to do the same :) What a nice idea!

~Summer coming. Today, we went with some friends to their neighborhood swimming pool and it was SO much fun to just hang out with pals and let the kiddos splash around in the toddler pool. It was also the first time the girls have gone swimming this year, and they looked SO stinking cute in their swimsuits!

~Sewing. I'm really enjoying myself lately. I love letting the girls pick out some fabric, and then whipping out a couple of cute twirl skirts that they can wear with tanks for the summer, since they have both declared that they will no longer wear shorts or pants or jeans, they MUST have skirts or dresses. They won't even sleep in jammies, they need nightgowns!!! Here are two of the tutorials I like : twirly skirts , tiered skirts, and pillowcase-ish dresses. The next one I want to try out is this: button shirt to toddler dress . I'm on the hunt for some vintage mens' Hawaiian shirts, I think, lol. If all else fails, I may use a guayabera. :)

~HRH's way of looking at things and talking about things. She has such colorful ways of saying things. A month or so ago, we went to Luby's for supper (that's a cafeteria chain down here), and she was eating fried okra and said "Mommy, these are just MAGIC!" :) She also calls marshmallows "snowmen", which I love. And until probably 5 or 6 months ago, when she counted, she said "eight, nine, ten, love you, twelve, thirteen". And when she smelled something, she'd say "I smell like _______" LOL! It's just so darn cute.

~The Hurricane's ability to make us laugh. She is so adorable. She's a pill, a tornado of a two year old, but oh my gosh, she is such a riot! I can be so frustrated with her that I'm ready to toss her out in the backyard and leave her there, and she'll do something so sweet and cute I just melt! Her daring is amazing, too. Her favorite thing to do nowadays is climb up on one arm of the couch, walk ACROSS the back of it (and no, it's not up against a wall, of course), get to the other arm, and dive head first over the end table to the leather recliner, taking out the lamp most of the time mid-dive. ACK!!!

~$5 pizza. Seriously, if you have a Little Caesar's near you, you just can't go wrong! We're running late coming home from a playdate? No problem! Nothing in the fridge or pantry for supper? No problem! Mommy doesn't feel like cooking? No problem!! And they even have a drive-thru, LOL! PERFECT! And I firmly believe that pizza is a near-perfect food. And good for you! It has grains (crust), fruit (tomato sauce), dairy (cheese), and meats (for those who like pepperoni or hamburger). What could be better? We ate one tonight for supper. And they have this super yummy buttery garlic dipping sauce, too. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

~Prince Charming. Even on the occasions when we're not so thrilled with each other, it's nice to know that he can never stay mad at me :) He works so hard to ensure that I can stay home with our girls, I really appreciate that. And he puts up with me :)

~Farmers Markets. With summer coming, fresh fruit and veggies beware! I'm coming after you! I planted some tomatoes, grape and cherry ones, but I think the cherry ones didn't make it :X I also planted some yellow crookneck squash, it's a family favorite. We're growing them upside down! So cool. I planted dill in the top of the bucket. I also have a lot of fresh herbs growing.... basil (of course!), oregano, thyme, chives, dill, rosemary, parsley, and spearmint. I think I spied cilantro coming back from last year, too, I need to check on that. And the spearmint means my mom's mint tea! YUM!

Mint Tea

3 c. boiling water

12 large sprigs mint

4 family sized tea bags

1 c. orange juice

1/4 c. lemon juice

1 c. sugar

6 c. water

Pour boiling water over tea bags and mint. Let steep until cool. In pitcher, combine orange juice, lemon juice and sugar. Strain cooled tea mixture into pitcher and add 6 c. cold water.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Teacher Appreciation Week

It's Teacher Appreciation week here in Texas. I'm not sure if it's nationwide, but it should be. I'm the coordinator for t.a. at HRH's preschool. Basically, I make sure the students and parents keep the teachers knee deep in snacks, gift cards, flowers, etc., all week. Right now, I'm mid-40 bag monogramming. The picture is horrid for some reason, but you get the gist of it:

These bags are really big and bulky, so I have to sit in the dining/sewing (LOL) room while they stitch out, and at 30 minutes a pop, I have LOTS of free time for sewing! I've gotten twirl skirts, pillowcase-ish dresses, ankle-length beach skirts done. SO exciting! And I've had this fabric :

for a few months now. I just love love love it. It's Heather Ross, of course. I'd LOVE to get my hands on some of her goldfish in the bags, too, lol. Anyway, I never could decid what to do with it, b/c I didn't have enough to make both of the girls little sundresses, so today, I finally bit the bullet and made this for the Hurricane:

I think I'll use the rest and make HRH a twirl skirt, she has an orange shirt I can do something with surely! Maybe tonight while I'm finishing up these bags (God willing). We'll see!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

BIG break :)

Whew! Sorry it's been so long. Lots of random things.

~My nephew is quite possibly the cutest stinking three month old on the planet right now :)

~Hurricane Lu has fully embraced her inner terrible two-ness. A blog I read somewhere referred to it as TWO-berty. LOVE that, LMAO! And so appropriate!!!!

~Still waiting on the granite. The one we picked was out of stock, so we went to Ubatuba Green. Still love it, and we're on track for getting it installed mid-week next week!!! ::::::snoopy dance::::::

~Teacher Appreciation week at HRH's school is next week. I'm the coordinator, again. I enjoy it, but it sure is crazy. Right now, I'm in the middle of embroidering 40 tote bags with the teachers' monograms. I hope they love them :)

~Top Chef this week..... was it just me, or did they all sound a bit elitist and snobby when they were stunned by the fact that someone could have to prepare a meal for a family of 4 on $10. Whatever. I could feed a family of 10 on $5 if I had to. That irritated me. And I was sad to see Mark go, but it was his time. I'll miss his accent, though. :)

~DWTS - HRH is SO upset that Shannon Elizabeth is gone now. She said, and I quote, "but her boy was the prettiest!" :X LOL! I like her, but am I the only one who thought she looked a little like Baby's sister Lisa in Dirty Dancing when she's practicing for the talent show? :X

I feel bad for saying that, but it's not the first time I thought it :X

~Hell's Kitchen - Gordon has absolutely lost his fricking mind this season. These people are blithering idiots. I wouldn't eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from them!!!! I find it hard to keep watching, but there's something strangely fascinating about it..... kind of like a car wreck.... or PerezHilton... or wrestling. I'll shut up now.

~Thong underwear..... there's just something a little funny about putting some on when you're getting dressed in the morning (to spare the general public from the dreaded VPL), especially when your children look in horror and declare "Mommy, your panties are broken!!!!!!!!!" :X