Monday, March 29, 2010

Pillowcase Dress



Yet another afternoon project. Half hour, start to finish..Amazing what you can do with a yard of fabric, some ribbon a pair of scissors and a sewing machine! What's even better is that I picked up the fabric as a remnant..for $3 stinkin' dollars. Doesn't get much better than that! I've been loving on Retromummy's blog and her dresses out of Heather Bailey prints, so I may bite the bullett and fork out the extra money for her beautiful retro prints! With so many friends and family having housefuls of baby girls, it's the perfect project to keep myself occupied, and create cute girly things for others to enjoy!
Stay tuned..I am working on creating a PDF downloadable pattern for these dresses.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just another Day in Paradise

video

Yet another video of the Mr. doing what he loves most. Surfing.

I love that my father-in-law does the video taping, NZ does the surfing, and I get to play around with my video editing program..There is so much to learn, but it's fun! Life is good.

Itty Bitty Dress

After a few months of "yes-you-can, no-you-can't" conversations with myself, I finally commited to a new project...a never before attempted feat, of making a little girl's dress. I had lofty goals last year of sewing dresses for our little one, but got no further than covering burp cloths before my inspiration of all-things-girly-and-cute came to a screeching halt.
While home recovering from last weeks surgery, I found myself all over ETSY, and the crafting/sewing blogs here on blogspot. I ran across a dress over at MadeByRae.blogspot.com called the "Itty Bitty Dress" sized for a newborn. After determining that I actually thought I had a shot at being able to complete this dress, I found a link to a FREE pattern for the Itty Bitty Dress( who doesn't love FREE stuff?) for a size 2T-3T pattern over at craftinginspiration.blogspot.com. I printed out the pattern, went through my fabric stash and got to sewing this morning. The entire project took 1 1/2 hours from start to finish.
So, if any of you are feeling crafty, and have a little girl in your life that loooves dresses, I highly recommend this pattern for a easy afternoon project...and while you sew, your husband can do man-things..like mine did...Something like re-building the delapidated fence that fell down two months ago. I married Mr. Fix-it..and boy am I lucky he's as crafty outside, as I am inside..otherwise, my neighbors would get an eyeful when summer comes around and they find me sunning in the backyard! Privacy will be nice (=

Saturday, March 27, 2010

7th Inning Stretch

Ooooh, just looked at the calendar and it's almost April...and that means...Dodger games! opening day April 13th...just a few weeks away! We've got our fan gear ready and rotated to the front of the closet! let's go Dodgers, Let's go!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Steeplechase

I decided, as of yesterday, in my groggy, anesthesia-esque state, that this whole "journey" to parenthood (insert sarcastic tone here) is more like a fricken Steeple Chase. You clear one hurdle, only to have another under your feet before you can fully prepare yourself..and we try our best to jump it and hope to clear it so we can be better prepared for the next one..
Well, yesterday, we jumped the big hurdle ( the one with the puddle of water after it)..the one my short little legs would never in a million years clear without the help of a good coach, or husband or fans (aka. friends)to help me through it.
A while back, we learned that I was born with a congenital issue which could be contributing to my multiple pregnancy losses. We have spent the past three months, pacing, sprinting and hurdling when needed, to clear the insurance company red tape and multiple diagnostic appointments I had to undergo in order to determine which procedure would be necessary to correct my issue.

And well, yesterday...it happened. I had my much anticipated surgery, and the Doctor told NZ that it went well, and that our odds are much improved and we now feel more confident that we will succeed in this race and bring home the Gold! ( a baby..or two..or three...or a litter if NZ has his way). Now I just need to rest and recover and we'll be back on the track.

I am recovering well, and thank those who sent well wishes, magazines and candy to keep me busy during my post-op period. I am groggy and slow, but overall, feeling pretty happy with how things are progressing. I even hope to return to work within the next day or two..One day into daytime TV and I am so over it! Price is Right is just not the same without Bob Barker!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Preppy Plaid & Anchors Away


Two of my newest Amy Butler creations.

Thanks to fellow blogger and "all-things-nautical- lover", Ashley , for the inspiration behind this bag, and my newly-resurfaced love of the red, white and navy motif. In fact, I have to laugh, because I was the kid in school that wore the same outfit every day while in Kindergarten. I was in love with this red and white striped boatneck shirt, which..surprise, surprise, had a blue anchor patch on the chest. I wore it out..or my mom threw it out..maybe it just got washed to pieces? Mom had to tell my teacher that I did own OTHER clothes..but I was happy as a clam in that old anchor shirt.
The second bag is Preppy-Plaid-meets-the-Easter-bunny.
I went with my sister, Stephanie of Sweet Creations( pictured below) to Downtown LA on Saturday and shopped my heart out amongst the many fabric wholesalers down there. There was soooo much fabric..and Michael Levine's carried all my faves...Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Heidi Grace, Michael Miller, MODA..I could go on and on.. if it weren't in the center of Skid Row, I may have mistaken it for a sew-er's Heaven for a brief moment.
We finished off the trip to the Textile District with a stop off in Calabasas for cupcakes from Crumbs bakery. My favorite was the Toffee Coffee Cupcake, which didn't reaaaally taste like coffee, but the toffee bits and pieces were to die for.
So, now that I have made about 9 or 10 Amy Butler bags, I'm wondering...To ETSY, or not to ETSY? It's still fun to make the bags ( and aprons) now, but would it change if I were making them just to sell them...with no one in mind? Decisions, decisions. Chime in if you have an opinion.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Snowball Squares


I tried to recreate a recipe I found in a recent Family Circle magazine, for coconut cake squares..or something of the sort. This is what I got..my version of the Hostess "Snowball" even though I think I can honestly claim to have never sunk my teeth into one. I'm not exactly the almond joy and mounds fan..I like chocolate, but it's the "other" stuff, I could live without...

Seeing as though I am one of the only people I know who doesn't care for coconut, I decided to go ahead and try this seemingly simple recipe for the enjoyment of others ( and to use up excess coconut from my "Samoa-cookie-making-escapade").

It was easy, but by far the messiest, icky-stickiest concoction I have yet to mix up. I most likely WILL not be making them again, unless I get some out-of-this-world feedback from the ol man and his co-workers tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chicken, again?

At one point in our lives together, NZ and I were going through 182 oz. of chicken ( that's 11 1/2 lbs!= 3 COSTCO size bags of frozen breasts), a 2lb tub of cottage cheese, a flat of strawberries, 42 oz of flank steak (again, that's 7lb of steak..of which, NZ enjoyed all by himself), 21 potatoes, 7 cups of rice and 42 (1) cup servings of veggies per WEEK. Not to mention a dozen protein shakes, and few cups of oatmeal that rounded out our repetoire of menu items.
Were we crazy?

We didn't think so..but ask friends and family who watched us turn down BBQ'd burgers and chips and dip for our pre-portioned baggies of food and they'd probably tell you "Heck yeah! We couldn't wait for them to be 'normal' again!"
We were commited. We had a plan ( designed by our awesome awesome trainers, Kim & Tad) and we stuck to it. It was either that, or, climb up on stage in an itty bitty posing suit and show the world a little jiggle-wiggle. We pushed each other to keep the nose to the grindstone and be proud of what we put out there at the end of the journey.

So, how'd we stick to the above formentioned foods and not stray???

Easy.

We got creative.

Sure, there were mannnnny nights when we rolled our eyes thinking, "mmmmm, my umpteenth boiled chicken breast" and sometimes we'd scarf it down without even realizing we had just eaten meal 5 out of 6, and it was a loooong two hours till we (gasp!) got to drink a protein shake and turn in for the night. The food got boring sometimes...and although it is viewed as fuel, sometimes we'd try to jazz it up a little to tease ourself that we weren't eating the same dang thing.

Hot sauce and mustard are a dieter's best friend...Oh, and ICBINB spray butter...and PAM spray...and SPLENDA.

A few twists we were able to make were...

Oatmeal into Granola:

Mix steel cut oats with rolled oats using just a touch of water and a sillionpacks of splenda. Spray a cookie sheet with PAM. Spread the oat mmixture onto the sheet, press down. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Turn oven off and let the mixture dry out. At one point I was lucky enough to have a kiddie size box of raisins added to my menu so I threw those in my granola mix.


Oatmeal Pancakes:
Mix a serving of oats ( mine was 1/3 c.) and serving of eggwhites ( I thinkI had 3 whites) with a whisk. Add a packet of splenda. Spray a skillett with PAM, and cook just as you would a pancake. Flip and serve with a spritz of spray butter. I still make these even though I am not on a contest diet.

Chicken Tacos

1 c. shredded lettuce, a serving of chicken cooked in salsa and water in the crockpot and fork shredded. 1-2 corn tortillas. Totally diet friendly and fooled me many times into thinking I was eating something really sinful!

Chicken Stirfry

precooked chicken breast diced, 1 c each of bell pepper &broccoli, 1/2 onion and rice. Stirfry the veggies in a skillet sprayed with PAM and add a little bit of water until al dente. Season with hot sauce. Serve over rice.

But oh, how I wish I had known about this little ditty way back then...I just discovered the recipe for baked chicken taquitos through Our best bites and did my own little twist on the recipe to make taquitos that were "clean" enough to eat every night ( and even for breakfast if you're like me...I've had them breakfast, lunch and dinner today!). I have to admit, Our Best Bites creamy taquitos with the cream cheese and chicken take the cake, but seeing as we're trying to get back to our girlish figures again, I had to clean it up a bit for the scale's sake, and omit the cream cheese.


CLEAN EATS TAQUITOS

Fork shredded chicken
cottage cheese
taco spices
salsa
corn tortillas
PAM

1-Boil 3 chicken breasts in water and a package of taco spices ( or use fresh chili powder, cumin etc)
2-When cooled, drain excess liquid and shred chicken with fork
3-Mix in 2 T. of cottage cheese
Add 1-2 T. salsa
add salt, pepper, cumin
4-Spray baking sheet with PAM
5-Heat oven to 425 ( or if you are lazy like me, turn broiler on HIGH)
6-Steam tortillas in microwave to make them pliable. (10 sec intervals worked for me)
7-Spoon 2-3 TBSP of chicken mixture into corn tortilla and roll.
8-Place seam side down on baking sheet, making sure that none of them touch.
9-Lightly mist tops with PAM
10-Bake at 425 for 20 min or broil for 3 min then, roll taquitos over to crisp up the underside.

Serve with Salsa.
So good even Beaver liked them! I know, he's a cat..he shouldn't be eating people food, but he has the most pitiful cries that I had to shut him up by feeding him some of what I was eating!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

wHoooooo loves these? I do!

I think I'm in love
photo property of My Sweet and Saucy
Check out My Sweet and Saucy's blog for the most adorable OWL themed baby shower. I stumbled across this blog ( and store!) while searching for edible frosting sheets and edible Canon printer ink so that I can embark on a new challenge. I got totally distracted ( or as my husband often teases, those butterflies flying by-caught my eye again) by the amazing detail that Sweet and Saucy's mastermind puts into everything.
I eventually bookmarked the site and will inevitably pour over every ounce of awesomeness, and did manage to find the edible ink for my Canon, as well as the frosting sheets. Now I just have to pull the trigger and order them. Endless possibilities!
Edible images just might be my new favorite thing

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vrooom! It's party time!

When a friend of ours said that she was having a dual Birthday party to celebrate both of her girls' Birthdays..and that it was at a local go-kart speedway, I jumped at the opportunity to "play" with fondant and make race car themed cupcakes. I used the tutorial from Cake Journal to make the race cars, and the rest I just flew by the seat of my pants.
The girls will be ( or shall I say are, before they correct me!) NINE and ELEVEN this year, hence the race car numbers of "09" and "11", which were so simple to make, using an alpha-numeric fondant cutter set that a friend sent me for my birthday ( such an enabler, she is!).
The checkerboard proved to be the most challenging aspect of my project, and I will honestly say I am not happy with how those turned out, but it is what it is, they are what the are..and I tried to hide it best using those cute little race cars..Cute little race cars fix everything!
I enlisted the help of the eleven year old earlier this week..She baked her own cupcakes..and hinted towards wanting to decorate them with me. I told her that the decorations were a surprise, and that I didn't need any help this time around...I knew I would be in for it for the next two nights, and I was right..as soon as I get home from work, her cupcake radar goes off and she's knockin' at my door asking me what I am doing..I've had to pull my A-game out in terms of distraction techniques, and hiding the fact that I have actually been working on them..I wouldn't be surprised if she hasn't peering through a window somewhere ( this is the same little girl that used to crawl through our cat door when we first moved in), and I can tell she just.can't.wait. The suspense is killing her..
So, tomorrow, the suspense for Miss A. will be over..for the rest of you in the blogosphere, here they are tonight!
Hopefully I win the checkered flag with these tomorrow night..or even better, the smiles of two happy Birthday Girls!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bane of my Existence

Please don't tell me I am the ONLY person in the world that has ever carried one of these around in their purse?

For those of you who are staring at it with a ???????? in your eyes, it's a Due Date calculator.

To embarass myself even more, it's been in my purse for TWO YEARS now..I'd calculate when we'd be due, and when each trimester started and finished "IF" in fact it happened that month.
And today, I decided to cut off my former BFF and say adios! If and when we do in fact succeed again, I am fairly certain my RE or my OB will keep track of the important dates for us. Last time I checked, that was their job..and they're probably pretty dang good at it, seeing as they went to school all those years to be super smart Doctor men..I'm thinking they can probably keep me adrift on the important stuff..

So, tonight, I bid a fair adieu to an old friend..I'm thinkin it's time to say goodbye, because I've come to the realization that it is the bane of my existence, month after month. From here on out, I will leave the calculating to my Doctors and good ol fashoined luck.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blog Parade

Link:Observations from 32nd Street


A fellow blogger/friend posted this on her blog, and it looked like a fun way to pass some time, and a bit different than my usual posts..feel free to click on the link above to join in!

1.What's your favorite time of day, and why?
I'll be super specific on this one.. 2 o'clock on a fall afternoon day..you know..those days just before daylight savings switches over...late September, early October? Yep, that's my favorite time of year, day and hour because the sun ( at least where I live) is still warm, and the days just linger on..loooove it!

2. If Health wasn't an issue, what food could you live off of?
Eggs. I absolutely love eggs. I really really want chickens so that NZ and I don't have to go to COSTCO every other week to purchase 5 dozen..Between my affection for eggwhite breakfasts, and my addiction to baking, we go through those bad boys pretty quick. I could EASILY live on egg whites forever.

3. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
Sheesh. Just one? I'd wish to have my babies here on earth with us.
4. What is one thing you get teased about a lot?
With a name like Brie, I was always getting teased in school..Anything from Brie Cheese, to Brie-toe ( which sounded like Burrito) very clever, 5th grade boys! I hated being teased about it, but now I have grown to love my name, for it's individuality. It's very rare that there are ever more than one of me in a room. And if I could pick a second tease-worthy issue about myself, it would have to be the fact that I am not very tall. Five foot even on a good day. For some reason people find it funny and cute to call attention to it.

5.If you could choose one book, movie or TV show to spend your life in, what would it be?
I would choose to spend it living as a child in "The Brady Bunch"..They had Alice to clean up their messes, they went on awesome family vacations and they resolved every issue they had within a half hour episode.

6. If you could have one talent that you don't already have, what would it be?
I'd be able to carry a tune..I have NO redeemable musical talent, at all. Just an ounce of musical talent would be nice.

7. If money were no object, where would you go on vacation?
I'd take my sunshine on a trip around the World. We wouldn't have any master plan, but we would hop on a plane, spend a few days somewhere, then decide where to go next..We'd continue until we felt we were done seeing all we wanted to..Then we would return home to Southern California, which will always be my favorite place in the World.

8. If you were an awesome singer, which genre would you sing? Hands down. Country. I fell in love with country music my freshman year of college ( this coming after years of "daaaaad, this music SUCKS!" when he would play it at home). My roommate and I were polar opposites. Me coming from Santa Barbara and her from a little farm town in Northern California, called Kneeland..She was a 3rd generation goat farmer..yep..She loved GOATS. She would play "Garth Brooks: The Hits" while she studied, and I started to like what I was hearing..So, I have to credit her for my love of country music.

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, where would it be?
Home Depot. I could get both bathrooms remodeled !!!

10. If you could live at any point in time, when would it be?

I have always been a girl who prides herself on being domestic. I absolutely love doing things to make my home a happy place for my family, whether that be cooking, sewing or cleaning. My home is my castle, and I think I would fit right in in the 50's as a housewife. These days, two incomes are necessary just to make ends meet in most US states, and I think that the art of being a housewife has gone by the wayside. I would love love love for my full-time job to be to care for my family and home. Call me old-fashioned, but it would be a dream to go back to a time when that's how life could be.

11. If every outfit in your wardrobe had to be the same color, what would it be? Last week I would have claimed NAVY! But this week it's a super cute BERRY color. My entire wardrobe would consist of DRESSES!!!!! Business dresses, sundresses, party dresses, housedresses...allllll dresses!

12. If you were one of the seven dwarves, which one would you be?
Bashful. I'm terribly shy until I get to know people.

13. What's the last album you listened to?
Dwight Yoakam "This Time"

14. What's something others would be surprised to know about you?
Although I was enrolled in a public High School, I missed out on a lot of High School activities, and experiences thanks to my life as a competitive gymnast. Although I never made it to a single football game or dance, I have to say that the things I got to do, see and experience while travelling the country for gymnastics competitions was far better than what I was missing out on. Sometimes people ask me how it was possible that I never attended any school functions, or if I missed out on being a normal high school girl, but to be honest, I am grateful that I had other things going on that were much more important to me than whether so-and-so liked me or not.