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Friday, March 9, 2012

trying everything

Sunday was the Purim Carnival at our synagogue. It's been years since I've been a member of anything jewish-affiliated (besides the JCC, but that doesn't really count) and I still grapple with how to introduce religion vs tradition vs beliefs to my kids. But the synagogue is a great way for my kids to meet other kids of the same faith, especially for my son who is starting to ask his own questions. Back to point...

 Barbie Superhero and a Star Wars character...

It's nice to go somewhere were people recognize you not just for your name, but for your history, your traditions, for the holidays you celebrate. Whether or not you actually belief in your faith never comes up, whether or not your praying to G-d or something else, we just don't talk about it. We talk about how fun it is to watch our kids running around, what we did all weekend, what we plan to do for upcoming holidays, when the next time we can get together and shoot the shit will be. I like this communal feeling. 

I know in a few years we'll be confronted with the big "what's G-d" question since Stephen will be studying for his Bar Mitzvah. At that point, hubby and I have some answering to do. But that's for us to figure out later...we've already got enough on our plate this week... 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

fleeting moments

We had some company over this past weekend. Hamburgers, hot dogs, juice boxes and a few beers. All of this flurry of activity was happening -- kids running in and out of the house, voices coming from the kitchen, living room, backyard. And at some point, my momma ears picked out a little sound coming from my daughter's bedroom...the sound of a giant princess piano/vanity being played with. Quietly, I slipped out of a conversation, snatched up the Canon and tiptoed down the hall to the room of pink.


These moments will be over soon. I know this, my son is almost 9 now...


And I know there are so many parents out there that don't want to "genderize" their children, withhold pink and princess...
 

But she loved this stuff out the shoot, and I'll deny her nothing these days. 
 

Because soon they will be into other stuff (it's a head set made from Bionicle pieces)

 

 And those eyes will be big, and so will the smile...and ideas become so grand...

 They get so big so fast.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

too posts in one day?? toosweets pattern review: best bubble dress

There is nothing more refreshing, more invigorating, mentally satisfying than a nice hot shower -- and finding sewing patterns that I actually get. Thanks to too sweets patterns I have several patterns that I can churn out in under an hour and that Refi will actually wear!

The best bubble dress was a fantastic pattern that I couldn't wait to finish. There is ironing of FOUR hems, but no biggie because they are small -- and they don't have to be perfect. The elastic makes everything all scrunchie and adorable, so there's room to be uneven (thank you heavens because I can't iron for squat).


A happy face? Yup! She preferred to pull the "bubble" bottom down like a dress. Occurred to me with a little tweak, this could be simple and easy peasant dress...
 
 
Here's the bubble top. We went shopping for the fabric together, and of course pink is top of the list. I originally cut sleeves to match, but I cut them upside down. (Note to self: read more tutorials on cutting pattern fabric)
 

lilygiggle poppy tunic REVISITED

With a fantastic bag of old tees (thank you hubs for cleaning out your drawers...) sitting in the garage, I felt that one of my favorite sewing patterns needed to be revisited. This time, with a clear head and a few little tweaks, I turned out on of my favorite patterns in just 60 minutes! Yup, another rendition of the lilygiggle Poppy Bubble Tank Tunic.

I knew I did not have the right amount of elastic to bubble up the skirt, and I also wanted to hone my seaming skills. I've noticed that ruffling a skirt and attaching to a bodice or waistband has been a bit of challenge...getting the seam allowance correct still baffles me. So, instead of allowing the cute seam to show, I sewed it behind the bodice bottom. Again, this pattern fits my little lady SO well, and I get to reuse tees vs using up yardage. 

Take a peek...

Pink ric rac instead of a ruffle.


 Rolled hem...not bubble this time. 

 
Love this face...
 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

sweet saturday

I love the weekend. No alarm clocking chirping at my ear. No rushing through cereal, backpack packing, lunch preparing...My kids are old enough now that they wake up, head to the living room and switch on cartoons. My son gets down the cereal and pours very large bowls for himself and his sister. Coffee maker doesn't even see the light of day until at least 9 am. Yes, this is the life of parents of kids who don't need a diaper change, bottle, a high chair, baby food...

Saturdays. I love them. And today, the blue sky is trying to shine through California fog, tiny pink buds are sprouting on barren trees, small green sprouts are poking out through blackened mulch and as you drive though my small suburban nabe, the roads are starting to pop with itty bitty punches of color. Saturdays in Spring. 

That's what has inspired my new flower in my etsy store. I can't take all the credit, the pattern originated from one of my favorite shops, Violette Field Threads. The Nadine Flower Pattern makes you think of spring from start to finish. I chose a hot pink satin for the peony and pearl and crystal center (all hand sewn). Hope you like it :)
 

Friday, February 17, 2012

left overs and decisions

Decisions are never easy -- well, maybe for some. Last night in our home, decision making came to a head with the same results -- totally awesome. It was a long road for two of us but in the end, we were both content. 

To start, I had to decide on what to make for dindin. Left over chicken was out and I had no more matzoh ball soup. My cold was making its way into my chest, which felt weighted by anchors. I gathered up my cooking resolve, dug out the left over risotto and made arancini! Um...delish!  
 
Flour, eggs, bread crumbs and mozzerella... 


Frying...
 
   
Cooling...well not really, because you gotta eat these puppies warm. The cheesy goodness in the middle is worth the burnt tongue.
 

And all this time, while I'm working away, avoiding getting splatter burns from the oil, my daughter and I are discussing her upcoming 5th birthday (at the end of March). There are a few choices on the table, all which need to fall within a very strict budget. Have you ever watched a preschooler try to make a decision that involves her very own happiness and needs? This was like asking a grown up to decide between the Ferrari or Porsche...

   
She didn't know what the right choice was and wanted me to decide. I told her I would, but wanted her honest input. Her main concern? With tears streaming down her face, she asked, "Mommy, what if I'm not happy with my choice and my friends don't like my party?" Explaining that a party is a party, and unless you're a sour puss of all sorts, dislike sugar, pink, jumping, music and well, the birthday girl, then everyone has a good time at a party.


We ended up calling Kika (my sister) and Wizzy (my mom) for advice. And with some sweet family talk, my little struggler confidently declared her decision. Tears were cleaned up off those delectable cheeks and a pillow fight with her brother entailed. 

Party on...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentine's day...my way

The hype surrounding Valentine's Day really gives me the willies, and not the good kind. This Hallmark Holiday has taken over the U.S. and it screams "spend more money on items that are priced too high and will be forgotten in drawers, dumped in a garbage or consumed to the point of nausea!!"

Yes, I attempted a Valentine's Day frock my girly nugget and yes, it came out backwards, uneven and wrong -- should've seen the writing on the wall, eh? But I made it for her, because I love her and wanted to see her smile...NOT because the VDY bug bit me. I do things for the people I love all the time -- why should it be concentrated into one big day of pepto pink? Why? Because marketing, advertising and media vomit this stuff onto us and we eat. it. up. 

And I should talk...as of this week, I'm scouring the internet for jobs in marketing, advertising and media. The time has come, and not by choice, to join the drones. "Why so negative?" you might ask! I truly love my job -- mothering. I use my working-day skills to manage my home -- from dawn to dusk and all the hours in between -- and see absolutely nothing wrong with that (except the salary...it sucks). My love for words is used daily -- I teach my kids the definitions of everything -- and my daughter is learning to say all her body parts in spanish. My obsession with reading -- even though I'm not reading much these days -- is revisited every evening as my son and I devour books from my youth (James and the Giant Peach right now...). 

Because I love my family so much, because I must be stronger than I am right now, I am out there searching for a job with a salary. Mommyhood just ain't gonna cut it right now. My hopes are high that the same technique I've been using for 8 years to serve my family right, will serve some other employer. 

Anyone need a writer, editor, researcher or proofreader????