Thursday, April 28, 2011

Weekly Lists

Does anyone else love lists as much as I do?  I love ones that I can cross off too.  Accomplishment is everything in my world.

  • Tonight is the last episode of the Office with Michael Scott.  I'm definitely a Janey-come-lately to the Office, but I watch it every night (thanks to syndication) and I just don't know how it will be without him.  Mr. Scott, we hardly knew ye.
  • After reading Smitten Kitchen all morning (my to-do list was short and I was productive, I promise), I now want to make lots of good food and blog about it.  That probably won't happen, especially in my baby kitchen.  But once we move and I have a real kitchen, I'm so there.
  • My mom went to a quilt shop yesterday and I was insanely jealous.  It still bothers me that DC doesn't have one and, even if I wanted to take on that endeavor now instead of waiting, I could never afford the rent.  Sigh.  Eventually, I suppose.  I just like to look at fabric.
  • Speaking of fabric, does anyone know where I can find some Cloud 9 Beyond the Sea fabric?  I'm dying for it.  Especially this print:
  • Finally, I've decided what my problem is, and I think it's the main problem that relates to all other problems.  I want to do everything.  I want to blog and have people read about it--but I want to blog about food and I want to blog about fabric and on and on.  I want to open a fabric store.  I want to get married--or do I?  I want to be single--and I want to have a family--or not!  I want to live in Paris, no, Charlotte, no, Boston, no, Portland, no, Oxford, no, Savannah.  I want to be successful and a stay-at-home mom.  I want a wedding and I want to elope.  It's completely ridiculous how mixed up I am, and I think that's why I'm so itchy for time to pass.  People, it's almost May!  I've lived here for four months!  This is crazy!
  • Oh, speaking of, I'm considering two classes: Mastering Macarons at Sur La Table in Arlington and a letterpress class at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center right down the road from me in beautiful Silver Spring.  Anyone have an opinion?  They're a bit pricey so I'm not taking them lightly.

Yay, tomorrow's Friday!  Yaaaaay.  (le sigh.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I don’t think I’ve mentioned this recently, but I’ve been reading Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat Pray Love.  (I never read that, or saw the movie.  It came out in the midst of college and I already had hundreds of other books that needed to be read for credit.)  I picked it up not only because A Practical Wedding used it in their book club, but also because the topic of marriage has been floating around our one-bedroom apartment for quite some time now, and really, I don’t know what to make of it most of the time.  I’m not finished with this book but I do have a few comments.  As always, input from you, the reader, is encouraged.
First, I am getting mixed signals within myself toward this book.  The narrator, Ms. Gilbert herself, has been married and divorced and is now staring down the barrel of a matrimonial gun again.  She and her intended both swore they’d never be in this situation after their divorces, but things happen.  (I’m not going to give away the plot.  Go read it, it’s awesome.)  So, while she loves her boyfriend, she also points out how women generally suffer after getting married—pay cuts, younger age of death, less happy, etc.  So, while this is very confusing to the narrator (or maybe not so, but still), this is also crazy confusing to me.  I love my boyfriend and we want to have a family one day—so should we remain unmarried?  Does that one piece of paper really make a difference when it comes to long life versus short life?  I mean, if we live together, have babies together, eat together, vacation together, everything that married people do together without actually being married, would there be a huge difference in statistics?  Those are the numbers I’d like to see.
Also, it’s making me remember why I was so against marriage in the first place, and why I’ve come around to it.  I wasn’t raised in a divorced family and the “marriage-negative” relatives, excluding my grandmother, weren’t really introduced to me until I had graduated high school, so why I fought against marriage and children for so long is unknown.  But I do know that, until we moved in together and lived together for about a month, generally unscathed, I had told Nick repeatedly that he would never make me a wife or a mother.  I told this to everyone—my parents, my brother, my friends, my coworkers, pretty much anyone who would listen.  So I can identify with the women she talks about who have no interest in a more domesticated life, and I wonder if I’m missing out on something because I want to settle down and become a wife and mom in the next three-to-five years.  Will that make me a different person?  Will I be a bad person because of it?  I know these are all personal problems, but they’re arising because of this book and they need to come out.
Finally, she describes the perfect situation, the situation that nearly guarantees the couple won’t get divorced, which is pretty much unattainable: devout, lives close to family, educated, older, no kids, on and on.  There’s a huge list.  But I started thinking about my own family during this.  Even my immediate family defies these statistics.  When my mom was 20 and my dad was 25, my parents moved from Ohio to Florida by themselves to start a new life.  They got married within a few months in a small ceremony on the beach (a handful of guests, which I think is where I get my need to elope, because we aren’t big ceremony people) and it’s been happily ever after since.  Now, I’m not sensationalizing my parents marriage—there have certainly been hard times, and I’ve been both aware and unaware of them, but they celebrated their 27th anniversary last week and it’s still going strong.  They didn’t avoid having kids—I was born three years after, and my brother, five—neither one has a college education, and they aren’t religious.  So I think what I learned was that statistics are crap.  My mom has always said if they had stayed in Ohio, they wouldn’t be married.  It was moving far away, only relying on each other for support and love, that kept them together.  When you have too many people around—family or friends—you tend to get too many opinions.  And what some people hear as complaining may only be venting (Nick gets on my nerves and I get on his, but I never tell my parents because I don’t want to sway them against him.  Unless there was abuse.  There isn’t.)  This is why I wasn’t afraid to move in with Nick in a far away place.  Either we’d make it or we wouldn’t, but we wouldn’t find out by living in our parents’ houses and just basically hanging out in Florida together.  And so far, things have been great.  We’ve had a couple tiny fights, mostly about Words With Friends, but nothing that has made us weepy or distant.  We communicate really well, we’re very open with each other, and we’re both flexible.  If I want to be alone, I tell him.  And usually, within twenty minutes, I’m ready to spend time with him again.
That all being said, marriage is a scary topic.  How are you all dealing with it?  Is it not even in your realm of thought, or is it becoming more real everyday?  I don’t have very many girlfriends, and the couple I do have are either very young or completely against settling down, so I’m never able to talk about this with anyone.  I also haven’t talked to my mother at all about it, because, if something doesn’t work out, I don’t want to hear “I told you so.” 
Sorry for the long-windedness!  Definitely read the book, though, if you’re at all interested in getting married.  It’s great insight into different cultures and their views of holy matrimony, which, really, isn’t so holy at all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Google doodle

I love this so much.

That's all for today.  I haven't been sleeping well and I'm trying to figure out what fabric I should use for the next Ice Cream dress (the important things in life), so that's all that's on my mind.  Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend Sewing

I hope I didn't already use that title, but I probably did.  I'm the worst when it comes to titles, names, etc.  I still haven't thought of a name for that big etsy business idea, and Nick is no help.  (However, I do already have a name for the fabric store I'd like to open in three to five years, so I guess my priorities are in order.)

I did lots of sewing over the weekend!  Lots.  And I have more planned for the week.  The days are longer and warmer and I just feel like I'm using all my weekend hours instead of sitting around, watching Say Yes to the Dress.  This weekend, in addition to sewing, we ran errands, went on a looooong walk to places we've never been (and saw a car accident--yikes), and did laundry.  And that was just Saturday.

An iPad cover for my aunt's birthday, thanks to this pattern.  I had been looking forever for a tutorial, but because I don't have a laptop (and I work better with patterns anyway), I decided to spend a few dollars and buy one.  The fabric was also bought on etsy and blogged about here.  The only thing I didn't like was that the pattern called for two inside pockets, which I made, but the pattern never tells you when to sew them in, and I forgot about them until I was all done and they were just looking at me, sad and blue.  So the next time I make one I'll remember.

Gotta love that classy mirrored wall we have.  Anyway, this is Simplicity 2211, the Lisette Market blouse.  I cut it out last week and didn't have a moment to spare until Friday after work.  It wasn't difficult at all to sew, but the sleeves gave me trouble, just because I've never done a set-in sleeve (ha! Can't say that again!).  I wore it yesterday to run errands and it was so comfortable!  A tip, though: make the tunic length.  I have the torso of a toddler (seriously.  I go from boobs to hips in three seconds) and it was short on me.

Inspired by Amy at Helen Ethel Studio (seriously, go check it out--gorgeous), I decided to make an Oliver + S pattern though I don't have any kids.  This is the Ice Cream Blouse in Cloud 9's My Happy Nursery fabric.  It's a size 5, so I'll probably give it to my parent's neighbor's daughter (whom I babysat from the time she could crawl), but I'm worried her sassy self will tell me it looks like "boy fabric."  I'm on the hunt for something girly and fun (without being tacky) to make the Ice Cream dress for her before I visit in June.

This photo reminds me: I need to buy some hooks at Target tonight.  My sewing photos are pitiful.

What was everyone up to this weekend?  How was everyone's Easters?  We don't really celebrate but the weather was gorgeous and perfect for a weekend outside.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Spring Walk

It was absolutely gorgeous here in the nation's capital today. After yesterday, which was rainy and in the 40s all day, the high of 75 with a breeze was welcome.
After running some errands, and enjoying a delicious Chick-Fil-A lunch, Nick and I decided to explore some of the neighborhood. We found a park, saw a car accident and took lots of pictures. Here they are!

(from top: Bird statue on the Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge; flowers at a stop sign; snake statue on the pedestrian bridge; brick house with gorgeous flowers; spring is big white petals; little Cape Cod; three brick houses, all in a row; dandelion!) (Fun fact: when I was little, I called dandelions "Santa Clauses.")

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Birthday Song

I love my birthday.  I never understood how people (mostly the other members of my family) could be so blase.  Celebrate, dammit!  Have a good time!  Party and drink and shop and do whatever you want, because it's your birthday and you deserve it.  Why not?  This is all acceptable as children, but it seems once you cross the threshold into adulthood, you're supposed to look at your birthday as a necessary evil, not to be mentioned unless absolutely necessary.

Well you know what, world?  No.  I'm not going to abide by that.

Also, full disclosure: my birthday isn't until September.  However, I know that there's no way I'm the only person in the world who gets excited for birthdays months in advance.  So deal with it.

First of all, the Sound of Music sing-along is the day after my birthday at Wolf Trap.  The Sound of Music is my favorite musical and I know all the songs by heart.  In fact, the first time Kali met my aunt, it was over a game of Apples to Apples where my mom, my aunt and I broke into the Lonely Goatherd all at once.  This is who we are, people.  I love Julie Andrews, I hate that bitch who tried to marry Captain Von Trapp, and I always fast forward through Climb Every Mountain.  It's what I do.


I think the best part of this is now I have a reason to play the soundtrack and watch the movie over the summer.  Nick's never seen it and he will be my partner.  I hope we look something like this:


Also: cake.  Cake is very important to us.  I think that's why Nick and I fell in love, because I baked three cakes within our two-month mark, and one was a birthday cake for him.  But, because my parents are in Florida and will most likely not see my birthday as a valid reason to travel 800 miles, I'm sure I'll either be buying or making my own cake, which kind of sucks.  It should be considered unlucky to make your own cake.  I do plan on making Nick's cake (I'm going to try a coconut cake with lemon curd filling, combining his two cake loves), but for my birthday, I'd like this:

Vanilla and caramel and salt, all from Cakelove?!  I'll take it.  But first, I should see if it comes in chocolate, because that'd be even better.  And you might need one too.

Next: party hats.  I've never had them at a party because my head is either too big or there isn't a party (normally just a few friends would come over to have dinner and cake...this year that number will be considerably smaller), so 2011 should include party hats.  I feel like we've really earned them

Finally: gifts.  Yes, I already know what I'm asking for.  Why wouldn't I?  But be warned: they're incredibly boring and I should be judged for them because they make me an adult.

Yes, a hand mixer and an iron, from Macy's and Amazon, respectively.  It's weird, I know, and I'm only turning 24 this year.  I feel like a '50s housewife.  Maybe for Christmas I'll get a vacuum!  (Actually I've had my eye on the Dyson Slim, but that's beside the point.)

So that's my birthday wish list, over four months in advance, just because.  I've had a bit of a hectic week and needed some fun.  What's more fun than birthdays, I ask you?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.

Have a great Thursday!  It's almost Friday!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More spring!

Even though I'm keeping my Allegra handy for this reason, spring sure is beautiful.

Will this become regretsy?

After much thought, I've (kind of) decided to open an etsy shop, once I'm a little more confident in my skills.  I enjoy sewing so much, and there are programs and patterns and things out there that will sell/give you a license to make and sell in a shop.  Why not?  Etsy seems to be the thing to do.

I've contacted my state's business administration but who knows when I'll hear something.  Does anyone have an etsy shop?  Can they give me any pointers?  For instance, did you apply for a business license, or just decide to do it one day?  I'm still a little on the fence about this (mostly I'd like to do the Oliver + S boutique sewer program, and I think I need some practice on those outfits before I declare myself a businesswoman) but it's something that's in my short-term goals.  I like to have as much information as possible before going into something, so any help would be much appreciated.

Wish me luck!  Oy.  I'm going to need it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Purl Soho Braided Handle Canvas tote

Did anyone see the Purl Bee Braided Handle Canvas Tote tutorial over the weekend?  I did and fell in love with it.  Good news: it's also ridiculously simple.

Bad news: the cotton duck through Purl Soho isn't cheap.  Nor is the shipping.  In fact, the total order of duck was $16, and the shipping was over $8.  Yikes.  As much as I want the hibiscus color, it will have to wait.

So now I have to find cotton duck.  You'd think it'd be easy, right?  It's canvas.  It's natural.  (This type is organic but I'm willing to sacrifice if need be.)  It's definitely a no-frills fabric.  But Google was not helpful this morning.  No colors were as brilliant as this Carr Textiles type, unfortunately, and I'm unwilling to settle because I'm afraid it'll look cheap.  That being said, I'm wondering if JoAnn's or Hancock's has anything.  How I wish we had an independent fabric store, because I'm really discouraged walking into a store and seeing NFL-licensed fleece as the spotlight fabric.  (If you're into this, no judgement, but that really isn't the focus of more modern sewing.)

Anyway, so I'll have to go this weekend.  I cut out the Lisette Simplicity 2211 Market top last night, and plan on working on it tonight.  It really doesn't look too difficult, but I've never done set-in sleeves, so that may be an issue.  I'm also awful at gathering seams, which is called for in the sleeves. 

Anyway, that's Monday.  I've had a lot on my mind lately, so sorry for the light, airy topics.  Seems better than some heavy mental!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I just entered that with my Anna tunic.  I plan on entering the maximum of three (now that I'm not frustrated by quilting).  Go check them out and send in a few!

This Just In: Not a fan of quilting.

I know, I just committed blasphemy.  I worked on the Sew Mama Sew Charm Pack Baby Quilt yesterday and today, and I just don't want to look at it anymore.  I'm guessing it has something to do with my machine.  I have a simple Singer Heavy Duty machine, not a long-arm or quilting machine.  This quilt is not even 4' x 4' and it was too much to handle on that machine.  I just tried to sit down and do the binding but became too frustrated.  Done!

This was the quilt top last night.  I actually had a good time sewing together the charms.  I should have known I'd have trouble, though, when I sewed the rows wrong: you're supposed to rotate 180 degrees each time (so it starts big square, little square, on and on) but that didn't happen.  Oh well.

This is the quilt as of now.  It bunched like crazy in the middle and I don't know why.  Maybe because I was using an all-purpose foot instead of a walking foot?  I'm hoping once it's washed and it crinkles it won't be as noticeable.  The binding is a light blue Kona solid.  The periwinkle is a Kona solid too, and the charms and backing are both City Weekend by Liesl Gibson for Oliver + S.

So I think I'm just frustrated.  Does anyone know how to bind and could explain it?  I looked on the Oh, Frannson! explanation and just didn't get it.  The mitered corners I think threw me off.  And she switched halfway through to a different material and color so I wasn't sure what I was looking at.  Any help would be much appreciated!

On another note, it's officially spring in the nation's capital:

This tree is right around the corner from us.  I stopped on the way home from buying groceries to take a few pictures.  Spring is pink!

How's everyone's weekend?  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Regretsy, as it pertains to the untalented

Etsy is both my friend and foe.  I love, love, love it for gifts, and for inspiration, and for lots of screenprinted posters I want and can't afford.  But it also makes me feel really bad about myself.  I'm not a talented person, except for the following practical aspects:
  • I can type like 80 words per minute
  • I'm very polite and always use correct grammar
  • I know where my forks, spoons and knives live, in relation to my plate
So I'll be a great librarian and/or mom.

But when it comes to creating things, I need very detailed notes and instructions.  I need pictures.  I need videos.  And I need someone on retainer who can listen to me cry about gussets and why does Amy Butler expect me to understand what that illustration means?!  (Referencing: the Birdie sling.)  I am not someone who sees a piece of raw hemp and thinks, "I have the perfect graphic design at home to slap on that."  I can't create patterns.  I can barely sew a straight line.

But I want to open an Etsy shop.  I want to be creative and somehow translate that creativity into a career.  I remember when I first joined Etsy years ago, I saw a necklace (or bracelet? or ring?) that said "Not a waitress."  And the inspiration was the creator had been a waitress and an artist for as long as she could remember, until she took the plunge and just artist.  That.  Is.  Awesome.  I want that.  I want to be passionate and create things I love and then share those things with people.  Spreading love safely.  (Relatedly, is anyone out there an Oliver + S boutique sewer?  I feel like I could do that but the license fee may be a bit much unless I'm absolutely sure it'll turn out well.  I was just looking for feedback.)

Anyway, this is all because I'm working on my aunt's birthday present (her birthday is June 5) and am looking for patterns and fabric and such.  If she's reading this, she should stop now.  I found the pattern but haven't bought it yet--has anyone used PDF patterns?  Yay or nay?--but I did buy the fabric.  I saw it advertised on True Up at lunch today, actually, and decided I'd jump on it before it goes away:

The shop is PlainJaneTextiles, which can be found here:

I bought the blue version, because the red is much more my mom than her sister, my aunt, and also my aunt loves, loves, loves to knit.  She knits and talks.  She knits and drives (truth).  She knits and does everything.  It's a very therapeutic action to her.  I've never picked it up but my mom once made our neighbor a gorgeous aubergine shawl which almost made me want to try.  Almost.

So now I'm on Etsy, thinking about everything I want, and then checking my bank account and realizing I can't have everything I want.  Which sucks.  This wouldn't be a problem if I was a successful artist, jerks.  Or maybe it would be.  You know, it's Thursday, and I'm kinda bummed it isn't Friday, so I'm just going to end my thoughts there.

However!  There are new episodes of NBC comedies tonight, if anyone else loves 30 Rock, the Office, Community and Parks and Rec as much as I do.  I won't watch 30 Rock until tomorrow because I am old, but you should all enjoy it while you're young.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday's List

Here in D.C., on Channel 4 we have Wednesday's Child, which is a news feature about a child in the area who needs to be adopted or fostered.  I feel a little lame adapting the title for my own blog, but it just came to me.  It is nowhere near as important, believe me.

  • Had moving on my mind again.  What's that you say?  It hasn't yet been four months since my last move?  Well too bad, the weather is making me itchy and I'm ready to go again.  (Portland?  Oxford?  Back to Savannah?  Charlotte?  Paris?  Boston?  I don't know!)
  • Speaking of moving, I've yet to change my license to Maryland from Florida.  Does anyone know if there are penalties for going over the 60-day threshold?  I emailed the MVA about it but who knows when I'll hear back.  We're going this weekend, regardless.
  • Megabus is having a $1 on routes from Pittsburgh.  I'm not in Pittsburgh, but it did inspire me to look around, and Nicholas and I can head to Philly for under $30 round trip.  I think we may do that once it's warm (officially.  No more flip-flopping).
  • Also: NYC.
  • Liesl Gibson's Modern Workshop line started shipping today, and Fat Quarter Shop already has it up on their website.  I bought the charm pack and am all too excited to buy some yardage now. 
  • I'm consistently 10-40 points behind everyone in Words With Friends.  I promise I'm smart and have an extensive vocabulary.  I think it's my aversion to competition that holds me back.
  • Pinterest has been my latest obsession.  I need some more people to follow so please don't be shy!
  • My day has been consumed by Excel.  Damn you, spreadsheets.
And that's about it.  Work, work, work, that's all I do.  Oh, and laze around the apartment.  I can't seem to be motivated this week.  Maybe it's leftover anxiety from last week that just won't go away.  Any suggestions on motivation?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paris, Je'taime

Lately, Paris has been on my mind.  I've never been there (I've never even traveled outside the U.S., for goodness' sake), but I can't seem to escape it.  I read Jordan Ferney's blog and become envious of her chic little family life in Paris, working at night and exploring during the day.  I read Julia Child's My Life in France while I lived in Savannah in 2009 and, not only did it start a long love affair with everything that is Julia, but it also inspired me to cook, and to explore what is unknown to me.  Also, I'm itching for something new that isn't also stressful.  The job and moving:  new and stressful; me and Nicholas: not new, not stressful; me and Nicholas in Paris: new and not stressful.  See?

I've also been thinking about elopements.  Nicholas and I are in the "pre-engaged" stage, as A Practical Wedding calls it: we live together, we know we'll get married, but there isn't a ring.  Not yet, anway.  And the more I think about it, the more even contemplating planning a small (no more than 10 people) wedding gives me hives.  We can't afford it, for one, and two, I'm not sure I'm a wedding person.  I don't like attention or people looking at me, and I'd rather spend my money on something fun, not something where I have to worry about fighting.  I've always said I'd rather elope.  No passport and money aside, why not think about eloping in Paris?  Hmm?

Wear a vintage gown, eat all the macarons and French bread we could, and just enjoy each other.  Why don't more people elope?  Is it still taboo?  And furthermore, why do I think of these things when we aren't engaged yet?

All images courtesy of Google Images.  Thanks, internet!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I finished Bossypants last night, after floating through it all weekend.

I will say that I am in no way a book critic.  I studied English in college and am a lifelong reader, but honestly, I'm the only person who considers my opinions important.  Even Nick zones them out.

I have two beefs with this book, and I'm probably the only one with them: one, there's no real plot, it's just like having thirty conversations with Tina Fey (which is great, don't get me wrong, but sometimes books need a plot); and two, there are a few recycled jokes from 30 Rock.  As I told Nick last night, I'm probably the only one who noticed, and there are like 2 million jokes in the book so that's a pretty good ratio of recycled to new, but I still noticed.

Besides that, I felt like I could've been this girl growing up.  Well, I sort of was.  Overachiever, awkward, not liked by boys, and though I wasn't a virgin until my mid-twenties, I have certainly gone through periods where men barely spoke to me.  Also, I love gay men.  I know what you're thinking.  "Everyone thinks they can be friends with Tina Fey!"  And you're right.  Unless you're Elle Woods (that's the second time today I've referenced Legally Blonde) (or Legally Yellow, if you've read Bossypants), I kinda feel like you could sit and talk to her about your headgear and the time you threw up on the bus in high school (check and check).  But isn't that what's so great about Tina Fey?  She has created a likeable, relateable character in Liz Lemon, and has made women everywhere feel as if they no longer need to be Jennifer Aniston or Megan Fox in order to get through life.  Thank god, because I mostly find those two women annoying and degrading.  (Degrading in that we're all supposed to feel bad for Jennifer Aniston because she's single, and we're supposed to look like Megan Fox regardless of ethnicity, heritage, or taste.)

I laughed a lot in this book.  A lot.  It was hard not reading it out loud every time I read something hilarious, because Nick is reading it too and I didn't want to spoil it for him.  But seriously, don't read this in public unless you're already talking to yourself.  Then you may proceed.  I could see a lot of inspiration from her background leaking into the things she's done, except for her father-figure, Don Fey (as she calls him throughout the book).  Her dad on 30 Rock is lovable and kind of "oh-gee-whiz-gosh-darn" if that's a thing.  It is.  But Don Fey is suave and intimidating and impressive.  Maybe that would be too unbelievable for Liz Lemon's dad, and also, it would be too similar to Jack Donaghey.  I get it. 

I'm going to wrap this up because there's nothing I hate more than dissecting something that is just there to exist.  While I feel like this book was written at the right time and it's making people laugh--what could be better?--it isn't exactly As I Lay Dying.  Nor should it be!  I never read Faulkner because he bores me.  I've watched the first season of 30 Rock on the treadmill because it's the only thing that distracts me enough to keep going.  Back in my exercise days, anyway.  So I say, if you enjoy a good laugh, and don't mind a little bit of post-modern feminism thrown into the mix (in the form of worrying about having another child, which is moot at this point), as well as some scary looking haircuts, read Bossypants.  And then let your friends borrow it.  And then watch 30 Rock.  We need to keep this woman in business, people.

My English professors would be so ashamed of what I just wrote.  Oh well.  Maybe they shouldn't have picked such lame books in the first place.  Seriously, who puts his own book in the syllabus for American Masters II?  Yes, I had a professor who did that, and no, I did not buy his book.  I didn't have money to waste on yet another book I wouldn't have time to read, and because his class didn't have tests, I didn't actually buy any of the books required.  Take that!  When you go to school fulltime and work fulltime, you learn the meaning of priorities.  They include: food, money, required books, papers, tests, sleep.  In that order.

Go enjoy Monday!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Betz White's Sewing Green

It's Sunday?  Boo, hiss.  I guess I should just be thankful that I'm going to work this week, because when I went to bed Friday I still didn't know.  Continuing Resolutions kind of suck, but not having a paycheck sucks even more.

Anyway!  On to more fun things.  I attending the Betz White sewing class at Bits of Thread yesterday in beautiful, chilly Adams Morgan.  A couple things about Adams Morgan: there aren't too many tourists which is really nice (however, cross into Woodley Park and they're there waiting for you), there's a "Capitol Hemp" store right next to a Starbucks, and gas is $4.29 there.  Another great reason I don't live in the city.  But I made my way in, on time for once, and decided to make the Easy-Breezy Sundress.  I had originally intended to also make the pillowcase skirt in the book, but it seems that my hips are big--my boyfriend even told me so after class at dinner.  Be jealous, ladies.

So here are the dresses, and I'm sorry for the cellphone pictures.  My digital camera is even lower quality so it's the lesser of two evils:

I had two people tell me they had the floral sheets as a child, which I think is hilarious.  As a kid I had Sesame Street sheets (and then Martha Stewart Everyday when I was a bit older), so I avoided running into my past at the ironing station.

These dresses are going to my cousin's daughter Gracie, who will look more adorable than any other child possibly could.  Ever.  I have more pillowcases but I'm not sure if I want to hang on to them for when I (hopefully) have a daughter, or if I want to give them up.  No one else I know has little girls, so they may just hang out in my stash for a few years.

The shutdown had me so anxious all week I barely sewed, so I need to get back into the swing of things.  I'm working on the Sew Mama Sew Charm Quilt tutorial--which means I have the charm quilts and nothing else--so I do need to start on that.  I bought both Oliver + S charm packs and plan on making both for my future kids.  Ugh, when did this blog turn into a mommy blog?!  I'm not even married!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.  And guess what?  It's going to be 85 here tomorrow, so that must mean it's warming up all over the place.  Go enjoy spring!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Shutdown

I have a rare free moment so I'm just going to voice a few opinions real quick.  First, some background: I live in Silver Spring and commute to Rosslyn, so I'm in and out of DC at least twice a day.  I have family and friends working for the government, and my company is a consulting firm that helps the government.  I will be affected by this possible shutdown in some way.

I'm not going to pick sides because, the fact is, every single member of Congress is to blame.  Tea Party, Green Party, bipartisan, I don't care.  You've all failed us.  I wish I could change it.  But it's April 2011, we haven't had a budget since September 30 of last year, and no one is allowed to get away with this outside the government.  Businesses and corporations have to have a budget in order to pay their workers.  You all just keep on going, fighting and bickering like children, and no one gets anywhere.  Stop being stubborn.  Stop naming names and making excuses.  You're not 6 anymore.  Let's get this done with the least amount of damage possible.  Some people have rent to pay and can't afford for you to keep pointing fingers.  Just get. it. done.

Okay, now that that's out of my system, I will say that I received Bossypants yesterday and read the prologue and the first chapter last night.  While I wouldn't call this "literature" (Tina, I love you, but it isn't), it's certainly hilarious.  So hilarious, in fact, that I wouldn't dare read it on the Metro because I would sound like a crazy person laughing to myself.  If you love funny women--and who doesn't?--do yourself a favor and pick this up.  Tina Fey is my role model, and Liz Lemon makes me believe that there are more people out there like me than I think.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when magazines and TV shows try to get you to relate to celebrities by saying, "Oh, they have their fat days too!  Look!  She ate an entire hot dog!"  Wow, I feel instantly closer, soul sister.  But when Liz Lemon makes her mistakes every week, I realize I've made those mistakes too.  Who hasn't told some guy he was wrong instead of flirting with him?  Good lord, I still do that.  So if you can relate, read it, it's excellent.

Also, a final note.  Nick got a job!  Yay!  We're both really happy and excited and I'm so relieved.  Oh thank god.

I sing that song when I'm feeling great.  Perhaps I should've sang it yesterday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Ebb and Flow

It's been a super crazy day.  One plus: I managed to miss the thunderstorm that stopped just long enough for me to commute.  That was amazing; thanks Mother Nature!  Many minuses: my breakfast was frozen (frozen Greek yogurt is not the same as TCBY, just so you know) and as a result I've been eating everything within a five-yard radius; there have been major mess-ups with our classes today; and I'll be here for almost ten hours today, tomorrow and Thursday.  Throw in two hours of commuting (one each way) and I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

However, I'm excited to think that my copy of Bossypants may be waiting for me outside the apartment right this very moment, though I'm sure I'm incorrect.  Also, tonight is Tuesday night, which means the Office is on for like seven hours.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are my favorite nights because of the never-ending comedy.  And after last night's binge on Intervention (both on the show and us watching like four episodes), I could use some comedy. 

I don't have a whole lot to report today.  I've been reading A Practical Wedding in between crazy back-and-forth emails to colleagues and clients and also planning for a surprise Southern trip this summer.  The rain, I think, is giving me a headache and to that I say, "Nap, please."  Alas, that won't happen, and I won't see my bed until 10 or later.  So much for those plans.

I remember when work was standing around Bath and Body Works, gossiping with my friends.  And I ached for this life.  What the hell was I thinking?  (Also, this reminds me of a conversation Nick and I had.  A few years ago when I wanted to originally move to DC, I thought working all the time and living in/close to the city and doing all that jazz was my dream.  I loved it.  I wanted to pay enormous rent forever, if it meant I could be someone.  Now, I do all that, and it kinda blows.  I mean, it's okay, but it's certainly no dream life.  It's amazing how your ideals and dreams change as you experience more and more.  Okay, everyone knows that, but I had to throw it in for good measure.)

Here's to Wednesday, for its arrival means today will be over!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Anna tunic and spring tulips

Monday already?  I know I'm not the only one thinking that this morning.  At least I hope not.  However, it is supposed to get up to 80 (!) today, and I'll gladly suffer through a Monday for that.

We had a lowkey weekend.  No guests, no plans.  We did our grocery shopping Friday night and came home to a power outage--those are getting more and more common and I'm not a fan.  Saturday we had a few errands to run, including an oil change for ol' Gus, who has been going on the same oil since October, even though we did the 800-mile move in January.  He's alive, that's all that matters.  With all the free time I decided to finally tackle the Amy Butler Anna tunic.  This tunic would've only taken me one day if it weren't for those damned yokes.  I know I've read countless other blogs talking about the yokes--some wanted to scream at them, others didn't have a problem, and I have to say, they made me rethink completing it.  The diagrams didn't make sense and it took hours to finally understand.

If anyone is having the trouble I did, just keep going.  It helped me to take a break (for the night) and to visalize it.  It also helped to pin the arm holes closed.  Ms. Butler doesn't mention it, but I kept sewing the yoke on and getting it stuck inside.  Also, I basted each time until I was absolutely sure I had it.  It took three bastings, but I finally got it!

There are, of course, a few small mistakes, but I don't think they're noticeable to anyone but me.  I hope not, anyway.  Just don't tell me if they are.

As I've said before, I'm the world's worst hand-sewer, so the buttons were less than fun.  I'm hoping they don't fall off.  But hey!  I sewed buttons!  Never done that before.

To usher in spring I bought some flowers from Whole Foods.  Everyone has been talking about ranunculus lately, and I almost went for those, but I like to buy flowers that haven't opened yet and all the bouquets were open.  Boo.  I'm also eagerly awaiting peony season.  They're one of my favorites!

I bought tulips instead.  I love tulips more than anything.  These, amazingly, were all tight and closed when I picked them up.  I put them in a vase once I got home and then went back to sewing.  Once I was done with the tunic I walked into the kitchen and they looked like this!  I was surprised beyond anything.  They're now sitting next to the sewing machine.

So that was my weekend.  Coming this week: books!  And hopefully a job for Nick!  And a sewing class with Betz White!  And Jake's birthday!  And drag queen brunch!  It's going to be a good week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April First day, y'all!

I find it weird that adults participate in April Fool's Day, so I'm just going to ignore that.

Fridays in my office are also Jean Days, and that means they become nouveau-country days for me.  I gave up listening to music at my desk when I got cube-mates, but on Fridays I plug in my earbuds and turn on Grooveshark.  It's probably the casual nature, but I always end up listening to the Avett Brothers and Ryan Adams.  I'm sure this will only become more frequent when it gets warm.

In celebration of the weekend, here are a couple of my favorite songs:

The Avett Brothers - Colorshow

Ryan Adams - The End

Have a great weekend!
Images by Freepik