Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One Of My Very Own

I inherited this sewing machine from Jim's mom, Sandy. Prior to this one I used my mom's sewing machine that I believe she got as a HS graduation gift (around 1984, right mom?). I was totally content to use this one, but as I mentioned last week, it broke. I thought it was me, and maybe it was, but the repair was way more complicated than just replacing a bent needle. It was going to cost $100 to have it fixed. The whole dang thing was only worth about $120.

I'm on vacation this week, and sorely need something to keep my fingers busy so I went and bought a new one. My first sewing machine all of my very own. It's so exciting!

I love you sewing machine and all your fancy little buttons.

On a side note, this dress is going to be worth about $560 when it's finally complete.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Want To Be Like Her

This beautiful lady is my Grandmother.

She is the most gracious person I know. She truly believes she is the most blessed person that ever lived and exudes the kind of unconditional love for her family that most people never, ever have a chance to feel. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by this kind of love from her and so many others in my family my entire life.

For all her love and faith and compassion, life hasn't been easy for her. Or, at least I didn't think so. The thing I love her most for is that she looks beyond the bad and sees the good in things.

Before I moved to Washington I wanted to spend an entire day with her. I remember everything about it. Grandma's house has a warm, homey smell that I can't describe, but I know that scent by heart. She was making us beef stew for lunch and we were going through boxes and boxes of old photographs in the pink room.

We found this picture of my Grandfather.

I never thought much about him. I knew he was an alcoholic and that he left my Grandma with three young boys when my Dad was just three years old. My other Grandpa once said that when Grandpa Phillip was sober, he was the nicest guy you could ever meet, but when he was drunk, he was a mean 'ol cuss.

Grandma and I kept looking through those old pictures and when she came across this one she told me she wished I could have known my Grandpa.

I asked her what he was like. How did they meet? Where did he live? We talked about him for hours. She obviously loved him very much. I thought it was strange that she still had so much love for him when, in my mind, he wasn't that great of a person.

Then Grandma said something that changed my entire perspective. She told me that Grandpa knew he could never be the kind of husband and father that he felt she and his boys deserved so he gave up everything he loved so that they could have a better life. While I had always judged him harshly for leaving them, she loved him for his sacrifice. We cried together over the loss we each shared.

My Grandpa Phillip came back to visit my family when I was very little. I don't remember it at all, but I wish I did. I wish I had been able to know him and love him.

I treasure my relationship with my Grandma and have so much love and respect for her. I will always keep this memory close to my heart and hope it helps me remember to look for the good in people.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Progress Report

I finally finished cutting the interfacing for Project a la Angie today.

Before I even began sewing I had to call my mom for help with the directions.

17 texts, 3 phone calls, thirty minutes messing with the bobbin, one broken needle, and a $36 trip to Michaels later... I have 2 pieces successfully sewn together.

But I'm having a blast!

(Thanks for all your help Mom. You're the BEST and I love you!)


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why Not?


Cupcake Pincushion

Supplies needed:

2 pieces of felt (1 of each color)
Ribbed material
scrap felt for bottom
needle and thread
red pom pom

Step 1: Fold each piece of felt in half lengthwise, and in half again.

Step 2: Layer one color on top of the other, leaving the bottom layer about a half inch longer.

Step 3: Tightly roll the two colors together and pin.

Step 4: Trim the excess off the side and trim the bottom so the cupcake sits flat.

Step 5: Measure the ribbed material around the felt and sew into a tube. It works best if you're able to double the material.

Step 6: Place the tube about a half inch from the top of the felt and loosely stitch in place.

Step 7: Turn ribbed material right side out and trim the excess off the bottom, leaving enough material to hot glue down.

Step 8: Hot glue a circle of scrap felt on the bottom.

Step 9: Accessorize with a cherry and some trim.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tea Party

I came across this picture and instantly fell in L-O-V-E.

I want to meet this crazy lady and join her secret tea party in the forest.

I wish I knew someone this eccentric.

Why do we all have to be so normal?


Monday, March 15, 2010

My Life On March 15, 2010

Outside my window... the sun is setting on a beautiful, sunny spring day. Granted, I was inside doing paperwork all day, but it looked beautiful through the window.

I am thinking... I work with some pretty amazing people. In the last couple of days two of my Managers and one of my Bosses have extended some kindnesses to me that touched my heart.

I am thankful for... words. Sometimes they can hurt, but sometimes they can be beautiful, loving, uplifting and downright entertaining.

I am wearing.... a yellow Nike sweatshirt and black exercise pants. I’d like to say it’s because I just worked out (which is true) but I’ve had this on all day. Oh, and argyle socks to really complete the look.

I am creating... I just printed some patterns for something top secret. Can’t wait!

I am going... to plan ahead and pack some healthy food for this trip.

I am reading...

I am hearing... The Office (aka The Best Show Ever).

On my mind... I can NOT believe who got kicked off of American Idol last week! I will miss you Lilly and Alex.

From the kitchen... steamed brown rice and low fat cottage cheese. Let’s not talk about this right now.

One of my favorite things... Popsecret Homestyle Popcorn. Not too buttery, not too salty. Just right!

The rest of the week...
Headed back to Salt Lake tomorrow then Great Falls, MT on Friday.

Pondering these words... Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side as long as you are true to the best that is in you.
- Christian D. Larson

A picture to share...

A view of Mt St Helens rising above the clouds (taken on a recent flight to Portland). Stunning.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fashion Crushes

Spring is coming and I am ready to enjoy it! I am ready to get healthier and live purposefully and have a little bit more fun with my wardrobe this year. I have been scouring the internet looking at a multitude of fashion blogs and websites and thought I would share some of my favorite finds so far....

1. Socks with Dress Shoes - I am all over this one! Comfy and super cute? It's a no brainer!



2. Bright Crochet Beanie - I am just seconds away from ordering this beauty.


3. Peasant Dresses - I have already started collecting these but I need so many more!!!


4. Ruffles - They are everywhere this year, but nothing beats these amazing shoes! Just gorgeous!


5. Floral Hair Accessories - This barrett was made for me.


6. Shabby Chic Necklaces - The name alone makes me want to buy it. These are a little pricey, but perhaps a copycat could be made? Sounds like a fun project to me!



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups canned pumpkin (or a 15oz can)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together by hand.

Pour equal amounts into 2 loaf pans sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Now here's the most important part: Don't eat it until the next day! It's good the day it's baked, but it is phenomenal the day after. It gets dense and sticky and perfect!!!!


Living In Hotels

On the outside, having a career that requires frequent traveling sounds glamorous and exciting, but the truth is it's a whole lot of loneliness and boredom.

At first it did feel glamorous and exciting, but after the new wears off there's not much to do except watch TV and google your heart out. That's how I discovered blogs in the first place.

Here's kind of how my hotel nights go:
Check in.
Go to room to drop off my bag.
Lysol the bathroom, light switches, door handles and remote control.
Go to work for several hours.
Come back to hotel.
Eat popcorn while watching TV (Biggest Loser right now).
Blog (or read other people's blogs).
Talk on the phone for a little bit.
More TV, more computer, maybe a little paperwork mixed in.
Wash my face and brush my teeth.

Don't get me wrong. I love what I do, and I actually really enjoy traveling (most of the time). I get to see a lot of things I never would have seen otherwise, and I have met simply the most amazing people ever, but hotel rooms? Hotel rooms are soooooo boring.


Monday, March 8, 2010

My Life On March 8, 2010

Outside my window... It was nasty today. Cold, dark and damp.

I am thinking... I’ve been feeling rather melancholy lately and I’m tired of it. I need a surge of joy and energy. Maybe it’s because I gave up desserts. Sugar is the elixir of my life.

I am thankful for... sunlight. The winter here is almost over and we're about to say "so long" to these too short days. I'm really looking forward to early sunrises and late sunsets.

I am wearing.... black track pants, black t-shirt, and a striped hoodie.

I am creating... same stuff as last week.

I am going... to do something utterly enjoyable this week. Not sure what but I’ll think of something.

I am reading... same stuff as last week.

I am hoping... I have beautiful dreams tonight.

I am hearing... Pawn Stars. I heart Chumlee.

From the kitchen... Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (recipe coming tomorrow)!

One of my favorite things... perfectly poached eggs.

The rest of the week... Two trips to Oregon this week.

Pondering these words...

If I had my life to live over...

I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people
who live sensibly and sanely
hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I've had my moments,
and if I had to do it over again,
I'd have more of them.

In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many
years ahead of each day.

I've been one of those persons who never goes
anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle,
a raincoat and a parachute.

If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot
earlier in the spring and stay that way
later in the fall.

I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

-Nadine Stair

A picture to share...

Happy Birthday to my dear sweet Dad and Bub. Love and miss you both!!!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Miss You Springfield

I miss you Charlotte Russe.

Sure I can shop online, but it's not the same. I can't try on your trendy clothes and listen to your awesome music.

And I can't stand and gawk at your wall of beauties.

I miss you Panera Bread.

There is no bakery like you. I used to eat your delectable food every Saturday morning before work and now you're hours and hours away from me.

Oh, how I miss your asiago bagels.

But the most agonizing hole in my Ozarkian heart is due to Nakatos Japanese Steakhouse.

Nakatos. Just the name makes my mouth water.

The soup and salad! That rice! Those noodles! That shrimp!!!!!!

Good gracious, I miss you!