Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Hunt for the Perfect Pair

The hunt for the perfect jeans - every woman's adventure into retail land for the "perfect"pair and at the same time, every woman's nightmare! Now, I am a fairly small woman. Some call me petite, some small, some just short. I am sure, just like being somebody on the other end of the spectrum who is extremely tall, it is super hard to find great fitting jeans. I have been fortunate enough to find three pairs this last week. I wish I could buy them by the truckload, because I would. The first one is a brand (I am of course forgetting the name now, and I can't check because they are being altered) that I purchased at Ross. Not a place that I would normally shop for jeans, because it is usually a picked over mess, and I get too frustrated. I had a Christmas exchange to make and so I thought I would give it a look see. I took 6 pairs in the fitting room with me. One was Levi, the other Guess (which I haven't worn since junior high days - nor could I afford unless they were at Ross), the other Jordache (my thighs have always hated them), Duplex (cute, but a lot of stretch), and two pairs of the "forgot the name" brand. Of course I have to hold them up and just try to eye them to know what size I wear. At this point, I weigh about 118 pounds and can fit in anything starting at a size 0 all the way up to an 10. Ridiculous!!!! I really don't know who they use to make these things off of, but I really wish they had more consistency. Of course I love the fact that I can fit in the 0 that I own, but realisticlly lets just call it what it really is.... a mismarked 6-8. Ok. So the fitting room is not too bad today. I have the Scout perilously perched on the six inch deep bench that they give you, and not enough hooks to hang six articles of clothing plus the items that you are wearing, but, whatever. Suprisingly, all of the jeans fit in one way or the other. I must be watching "What Not to Wear" too much because I look at the Guess jeans, and although they were comfortable and seemed at first to fit well, they bunched up when I moved, right under the butt. Not so attractive. Had I not watched the show, I might not have known to look for that. Thanks Stacy and Clinton. The Jordaches still do not like my thighs, but I managed to squeeze in them and then peel them back off my person. The "forgot the name" jeans fit fantastic. One was one size to big, but the other soooo great. Long, but I'm used to it and have my alterations place on speed dial. The best part of the whole excursion was the jeans were only 12.99. I went back to look for one more only to be disappointed to find none. That's Ross for you. So tonight after I dropped off the Peanut at Daisy's and had an hour to kill, I ran over to Old Navy. They have their new line of jeans out offering mid-rise and classic rise. Yes, they even have low rise for all of you wild women out there. They also offer them in short, regular and long. I will take short please. Now mind you, the jeans I currently have on are Mossimo from Target. A long time favorite jean brand of mine, but the problem is, is that they are low rise. So while I am bending over at Old Navy trying to find my correct size on the ultra-low shelf they have them on, I realize that I am sporting half a butt crack, and I am right in front of the giant window at night giving everyone a rather not- so -flattering look see. That's the problem with low rise. I really don't know who they are built for, but they cause muffin-top (you know what I am talking about) on everyone. When I weighed 106 pounds I had muffin top. The girl down the street who couldn't get any skinnier has muffin top, my five year old who is a healthy looking kid has muffin top all due to crappy cut jeans! I am a Mom of two little girls and although I abhor "mommy jeans," I just really want something that looks nice and not like I am trying to be 18 again, because I am 31 for god sakes. You gotta love how the style of low rise became so popular with the ever so famous thong underwear that you pull up enough so you can see it above the jeans. Nasty! I can't believe somebody's mother would let them out of the house wearing that! O.k., I'm beginning to sound like my mother so I digress. So Thank You Old Navy for your excellent decision to make a mid-rise jean and classic rise jean for women who are not built like they are a ten year old boy, but who are curvy and have a little extra padding in the caboose. I think I can speak for most women out there when I say "It's About Time!"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What a Week

Hi All,

I'm back, but just for a second. I was going to bore all of you with the busy details of the past week in a half but I will save you from reading the book. Here it is in short:

A week ago Saturday:
Hubby went to snow run up at Lake Wildwood with Uncle and Dad. Scout had an earache so we didn't go, but instead went to Peanuts baseball clinic. She was one of two girls out of like two hundred boys. Some tears but she persevered in the end. Go get em girl! Later that day birthday party for someone in Peanuts class.

Grandma was here and went to visit. Guys came home from the run and Aunt came down from Forresthill and we went out to lunch. Yum.

Monday: Work, work, work, study a few chapters for my medical terminology class (boo!)

Tuesday: Work, work, work and took some time to create three different sets of note cards for my etsy shop. So cute..... check them out at Hopefully I will post my handbags in the next day or two if my camera cooperates with me.

Wednesday: Work, work, work and then work at the Peanuts school the rest of the day.

Thursday: Work, work, work, meet my best friend Kimbalina for lunch at the Chilis. Got the wrong order twice (how can that happen?) Kim's cracking up right now. Had some kid less, well deserved fun with my old pal and went over some Pink Petunia business because she is creating some fantastic cards for my wares. She kicks butt at graphic design! Left Chilis and headed to Janell's Skin Spa on Marconi. Our good friend Cass owns the place. A local business that I heart. Had the eyebrows sugared and they look fantastic. Less painful than waxing. Kim and I agreed next month its a kid less trek for a mani/pedi! Later that night we had a Daisy meeting and final cookie sale paper work. Selling girl scout cookies is a lot of work. Glad to be done.

Friday: Crazy hair day at school. The Peanut decided we had to have butterfly clippies everywhere. We call it butterfly garden! The best one was a friend of Peanuts that came in with her hair completely ratted everywhere. Sooooo funny. LOL. Work, work, grocery store, Costco, study, study.

Saturday: Got my new photo printer working. Cool beans. And my new Adobe Photoshop Elements (that I bought at Costco with my $30.00 off coupon) somewhat figured out.

Sunday: Head to the inlaws, drive to the snow. Played for 10 minutes because it is so wet and snowing hard. The Peanuts hat came off and Scout was getting a cold, but it was fun. Drove to Alleghany (small mining town) deserted but cool to see. Took some pics. Saw Hell's 1/2 Acre and ended up eating pizza at Pizza Roundup in Loma Rica. Best pizza anywhere! Found out my new niece is coming home from the hospital on Friday! Yay!

Monday: Back to the grindstone. Work, work, work. Attempted to clean up my craft space. Scouts sick wanting me to hold her. Watched SuperBad. So funny but really bad language. Never heard the F-word so much in a movie before. I love McLovin!

Tuesday: Here we are! Work, work, work, laundry, laundry, laundry, sick Scout, Peanuts homework, study, study, study, two chapters to go and one test and I am done with my Medical Terminology class. (Hoorah!)

That was the week/week in a half. I guess it turned out to be a novel after all. I feel really bad with not keeping up with my blogging. It just was to hectic. Hopefully I will do a little bit better this week. Night night!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

WIP's Everywhere

I keep seeing this acronym in so many crafty blogs. No, I'm not blonde, just couldn't figure it out. I am a novice when it comes to this stuff, don't you know. So I googled it. Much to my surprise it means "Work in Progress." I can hear my daughter saying "Duh, Mom, you didn't know that," and my husband saying "I don't think I would tell people about that." Yes, I must be an idiot because I did not think of WIP as "Work In Progress." I just thought it was some secret craft term that only the super crafty know about. I was relieved to know that I have many WIP's and rarely ever have any CW's, that is "Completed Works." Ha, Ha, I'm such a dork. Anyway, here is another term that I just came across in one of my many craft subscriptions - "a multi-surface designer" - what the heck is that? Is that a term coined for those who like to craft on multi-surfaces? The article did not elude to that. It seems like a term that has been changed to be politically correct for whatever reason, like the "stewardess" on an airline being changed to "flight attendant." I think it just means somebody that likes to craft in all sorts of different mediums, but who knows? If anybody has any insight into this, please, let me know.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Some Good, Sound Advice from One Crafter to Another

Every morning I check out all the blogs I read to see if anybody posted anything new. This morning I really enjoyed reading a blog that I was just introduced to. It's called For all of us crafters out there who are in the process of organizing their spaces to become more effective at their crafts business, this is a great read. I realized just how much stuff I have accumulated over the years and how I desperately need to use what I have before I go out and buy more. This article inspired me. My new mission is to try to produce as many items for Pink Petunia Designs that I can, with only the materials that I have handy. It will be a challenge. I have discussed my obsession with Michaels Craft Store in previous posts. I will let you know my progress.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Math Girls Rock!

I hated math when I was in school. Mainly, it was due to the fact that I just wasn't good at it or I didn't think I was good at it. The boys in my classes always seemed to be the ones that were getting the higher grades in math and science, where I was more the English type.

My oldest, the Peanut, is in kindergarten. She can add and subtract and read a few fractions. She understands how money works and can count surprisingly high for her age. Is she a genius? Of course I would like to think so, but more than likely not. She is really just your average happy go lucky kindergartner who likes to play with her toys and her sister (sometimes) and paint with her paints. Sometimes I wonder if she got more of my hubby's genes when it came to having a "math" brain, but she is equally interested in English and Art. I really believe that nowadays kids (girls in particular) are being shown that math is cool again. They don't seem to be intimidated by it the way I was when I was growing up.

Today she looked at me while we were working on a packet that the teacher sent home that had to do with "equal values." She pops her head up and says, "Mom, did you know that everything that we do has to do with math?" I asked her if her teacher had told her that. She said, "No, but you know everything does use math." I kinda laughed to myself thinking how amazingly brilliant that that comment was, and if I had just looked at math from that point of view when I was younger, maybe I would have enjoyed it a little bit more.

I recently watched a clip of Danica McKellar, the girl who played Winnie on the ever popular show The Wonder Years. Think back, I know you watched it. She is paving the way for young women to try to appreciate math again and have the confidence to do so. The clip is really interesting and great for all parents out there especially ones with school age girls. She has a book out called, "Math Doesn't Suck." A read that I will definitely invest in. Hope you enjoy the clip.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Craftiness of the New Year Begins and a few other things

I haven't crafted at all since the New Year began (until today). I just have been in the midst of reorganizing my office/craft room (maybe one of these days I will get really fancy and call it a studio) and I am soooooo slow at it. Pick one thing up, put it down, pick another thing up move it here. I am great with others people's stuff, just not my own. So I took a break last night from organizing and stripped my Christmas tree bare. I was so sad to take it down because it was so pretty, but I hadn't watered it in a week and it was beginning to lean like the Leaning Tower of Pisa (is that how you spell that?). I wanted to share some of the new ornaments and other handmade goods that I purchased from my Sacramento Craft Mafia sisters. Three items I did not have photographs of, because I didn't think about it until after I gifted them how nice it would have been to include them in my blog. Here they are. They went over with a bang. I purchased the first three at our Get Made Holiday show. See what you missed out on.

I purchased a wine bottle melted down into a nut or candy bowl. This was so awesome. Made by mafia sister and high school friend Sondra Cameron of Shirts for Shortys. This was such a cool gift. I gave it to my Aunt Susie who loved it and also happened by chance to be her favorite wine.

I also purchased a darling bowling pin shaped doll from Lauren of Speckled Hen for my Mom. It is so cute with all of its different fabrics and embroidered face, it is truly unique. She has it proudly displayed on her denim couch and it looks great.

I also purchased a limited edition embroidered face ornament from Claire of Little Lovlies Handmade for my Mom. It has a great vintage looking fabric on the back and darling face on the front. She even offered to make ones that matched the color of my girls hair! This is also proudly displayed on my Mom and Dad's Christmas tree. Sooooo cute.

The other two items I have pictures of, because I bought them for my girls. The first, is two resin Snow White ornaments. So cute and so whimsical, straight out of the old Golden Books that still set on my shelf today. Santa slipped these into the stockings and they were a hit. I want to give my girls their ornaments when they move out one of these days, but I will have a hard time parting with these. These were purchased from another mafia sister Antoinette of Creatress Designs.

The last item that I purchased were two little dolls also from "Santa" created by Missy Balance of Mohair Circus. These dolls are so cute. They look like little Christmas pixies. The minute I saw them on her blog, I was counting the days till she put them in her etsy shop. The girls loved them and the Peanut is actually sleeping with hers tonight.

You can check out all of the other wonderful Sacramento Craft Mafia girls at: There are so many wonderful artists and craftsters in the Craft Mafia. I can't wait to purchase something from each of them!

Another favorite ornament that I was privileged to open this year came from my Aunt Judy and Uncle Rod. She had wrapped up three Bi-centennial themed ornaments that she had on her tree from 1976 the year I was born and gave them to me. I was so tickled I almost cried. My Mom and Dad have the same collection on their tree but they have different characters. So now between my Mom and I, we have the whole set. Thanks Aunt Judith & Uncle Roddy!

You say, but where is the craftiness? I thought you mentioned craftiness in the title? I sure did.... Last but definitely not least I am officially an Aunt! My new niece was born just before the New Year and is extremely premature at only 30 weeks of gestation and 2lbs. 10oz. A little squirt. She is in hospital for the next six weeks growing away in her little heated submarine bed and her Mommy asked if I wouldn't mind making a little sign with all of her vital statistics on it. I said, "Of course! It's part of my Auntly duties!" So here is what I came up with for the sign. I got to bust out my glitter and new Martha Stewart glue pens from Michaels (love them)! I had posted earlier on that I am a horrible photographer, but I found some new buttons on my camera that I never new I had. So this time they came out a little bit better. Tell me what you think.

So that's all the craftiness I had in store for today. One more day of organizing before going back to the grindstone on Monday. I am hoping to have it all done by then. You may even get a picture from me. Stay tuned........

Friday, January 4, 2008

Quick! Fix It! Stove Top Casserole

I love quick fix dinners. I depend on them. I especially love casseroles that incorporate all of the basic food groups. I got this recipe out of a magazine and tried it because it was so easy and I had all the fixins right in my pantry. You can fix this up before you go somewhere and pop it in the oven for 40-45 min and voila dinner in a dish and very kid friendly (all except my youngest who can't have milk and eggs. I will share some vegan recipes next week. So stay tuned my vegetarian and allergy ridden friends.). So try it and tell me if you like it!

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVETOP Stuffing Mix - The recipe calls for the chicken type but I prefer turkey.
1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces. I use Foster Farms frozen breasts. I use two and it seems to be plenty.
1 can (10- 3/4 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup of sour cream
1 bag (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed, drained. Now here you can experiment a little. The first time I made it all I had were frozen peas and carrots and it was great. The second time, I tried the mix with corn, peas and carrots. My oldest had recently let us know of her huge dislike of green beans so I avoided the mix with those in them. But try it, whatever you like best. I didn't really care for the one with corn myself.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package; set aside.
Mix chicken, soup, sour cream and vegetables in a 13x9 inch baking dish; top with stuffing.
The recipe says to bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. I am paranoid when it comes to meat not being done, so I cooked it for 40-45 minutes and it was perfect. I have a new oven and for some reason it doesn't ever seem to be hot enough for whatever I cook. So experiment. Its good, its easy and its quick. Hope you like it!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Organizational Hell

I am in the midst of organizing my office/craft room. It is hell. Pure hell from the deepest depths. It feels great to be doing it,but a huge chore of space creativity. One that I am definitely not enjoying at all. I got this rockin shelf from Michaels for Christmas from my folks and the hubby bought me all of the embellishment jars to go with it. See post from before for the pic. It's great. I put all of my paints, ribbon, scrapbooking embellishments, buttons, etc. on this great invention. I am still trying to sort through my push around cart and my craft closet which is loaded to the gills with every craft item known to man. I could open up a Michaels superstore with all the crap that I have collected. Not that I am complaining, I love it, I do. I just wish sometimes that I had a little self-control when it came to shopping at the craft store. If I see a craft that I want to try, I gladly purchase everything needed and then think that I will get to it and I never do. Right now as it stands, I have several collections of craftiness sitting in the closet, knitting (which I am still horrible at), glass etching (still never opened), wood burning (never opened), glass painting (you know the story), scrapbooking (get burnt out to quick) mosaic tile (dying to try just haven't made it that far), jewelry making (now and again), painting (love it), soldering (love it), soap making (tried it, liked it, haven't done it since), sewing (love it but only get to do it when I have a lot of time on my hands, which is rare with two small kids), origami (love it and plan to make Christmas tags next year, ha ha), stamping (love it), altered and paper arts (love it, my passion)!
Wow, so you can see I have a little bit of a problem. I need a twelve step program or something! I am out of control and the madness needs to stop. So my New Year's resolution (I really loathe that term) would be to actually attempt to use some of the things that I own and to avoid Michaels at all costs until absolutely necessary. It will be hard with that tempting 40% coupon that comes in the paper every Wednesday and that nice gift card that my brother gave me for Christmas, but I am really going to give it a go. I will keep you apprised of my progress or lack thereof.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bikinis at Target

So I am out today attempting to do my hundreds of returns at various stores before the big storm roles in. I end up at one of my all time favorite places to shop "Tar Shay!" My Dad has nicely accompanied me on my wirlwind trip of returns and is helping entertain the Scout while she is happily munching on a box of Barnums Animal Crackers that I always locate immediately when walking into Target and Walmart. Thanks guys for thinking of us Mom's! So I am happily purusing the sale racks and am heading for the checkout which is located adjacent from the juniors section. As I am walking by it suddenly dawns on me that over half of juniors section is covered with bikinis. Yes, I said bikinis. Yes, if you look at the date of this posting it is January 2. I nudge my Dad, "Check it out" I say. He looks over and it takes him a second before it registers. "Oh my gosh, its January!" It seems like the stores are putting out the seasonal stuff earlier and earlier each year but seriously bikinis in January. We discussed this in length on the way home. I always have very philisophical discussions while driving with my Dad. We came to the conclusion that the bikinis were put out as incentive to shed those winter pounds. So many cookies and not enough treadmill (as in my case). I will always love Target but this bikini business is insane. They should at least wait till after the Easter Bunny!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Break Out the Bubbly

Hey All, Happy New Year!

It has been many moons since I blogged last. I missed the whole Christmas holiday completely. Although it was a blast and much paper was torn, the kids were both sick with horrible colds. Oh well, what do you do? Santa came and brought scooters and a rockin dollhouse. On to New Years...dullsville. I sit on the couch watching On Demand with two sleepin kiddos and a husband that's working late. I flip through the free movies because I feeling the effects of the holiday and a New Year's resolution to try to be more thrifty. I turn on TCM or Turner Classic Movies and find a fantastic movie called "Holiday Affair." It stars Robert Mitchum a rather hunky young chap and Janet Leigh a rather Nancy Drewish pretty girl. The movie was fantastic. I have been really hooked on the TCM network and also caught another great flick called "Christmas in Connecticut starring Barbara Stanwyk and Dennis Morgan another mid-century hunk. These movies were fantastic and highly recommended while you can watch them free On Demand.