Thursday, April 29, 2010

Crab-tastic bag

About a week ago I fell in love with this crab print manufactured for and sold at JoAnn's fabrics. I purchased a couple yards of it, with no particular project in mind, but I knew I HAD to make something with it. I tried out a softer version of the Amy Butler Birdie bags I have been making. To make a "softer" bag, I simply omitted the lining that the pattern calls for. The result, a less structured bag, perfect for stocking with sunscreen, a towel and a magazine for the beach.

Is this not the cutest bag? How could anyone feel crabby toting this around?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sugar & Spice

I may have mentioned a time or two-hundred, I adore Bakerella.

She has wrangled me in, once again, with the recipe for cinnamon rolls that she made from the Pioneer Woman website.

Since I'm forever-watching-my-girlish-figure, I opted for a 1/2 batch instead of a full one, because anyone that knows me, knows that when sweets are around, I must EAT THEM till they are GONE ( hence my common practice of baking-then-tossing-into-the-trash). So, I figured, even if I did manage to eat ALL 25, at least it wasn't FIFTY. In all seriousness though, I share well. Most get shared, some get eaten, and the day-after stragglers find the trash can. That's life. No one wants a has-been.

Easy-meter: 3 out of 5 stars *

Taste-meter: 5 out of 5 stars**

*only 3 stars because I hate waiting for things to rise, and well, you have to wait for these guys to rise TWICE which just about killed me!

** The excessive glaze poured over these rolls sent them from 4 star status to 5 stars..Use the glaze generously

Fabric Banner Project

Although it's been 15 years since I last lived at home, my family had a tradition of hanging up a "Happy Birthday" banner up outside on my mom's split rail fence. Being fortunate enough to grow up across the street from my grandparents ( Yes, I realize how lucky I am) we shared this tradition with them by hanging a banner on their fence each birthday.

Our signs were usually made of butcher paper and dried out marker pens, or, if out of butcher paper, we'd settle for computer printer paper (remember when printers used that perforated edge paper you had to rip the sides off of?) which worked in a jam.

One year for my birthday, one of my BFF's ( thanks ma'am!) who had moved to Philly, sent me the coolest Birthday banner in the mail, and it stayed up ALL year long. We covered up my name with the names of my other two roomates as their Birthdays rolled around. You can sort of see Sara's masterpiece in the photo below, nevermind J.Reed imitating the jaRule & J.Lo video in the background...How's that for dating this photo..yes, it was 8 years ago.
I ran across this a-freakin-dorable Birthday sign today at Two Sisters Shop and can't wait to make one with my fabric scrap stash. The plan is to make a unisex banner and get the tradition rolling again..and even better, it's green! Totally re-useable for Birthday after birthday.
Photo belongs to Two sisters Shop

Stay tuned...I'm not sure I can keep away from sewing projects this weekend..I may just have one to post by night's end. My goal was to complete shirts for the March of Dimes walk for my mom, sister and me to wear ( and hubby if he wants one)..but my sister has so kindly offered to use her Sizzix Big Shot machine to die-cut the fabric letters for me so that I can avoid making my own templates & cutting out each letter by hand. So, for now, that project is on hold till her letters arrive later this week. My sister SPOILS me rotten..and I love her for it!


As predicted..I couldn't leave the thought of a banner alone..All it needs is to have the letters ironed on each flag and it's ready for years of Birthday celebrations!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Probably Wouldn't Be This Way

LeAnn Rimes "Probably Wouldn't Be This Way"

Favorite song of the hour..

I just heard this song again today..And although it's about the loss of a boyfriend/husband, the lyrics got to me..and had me identifying with everything she sings about regarding the loss of a loved one.

Beautiful voice, beautiful song..and it's now added to my playlist to play over and over.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mutha' trucker

"There's something women like about a pick-up man"-Joe Diffie "pick-Up man"

One fateful winter day in 2007, NZ's lifted 4x4 Chevy got traded in for it's nemesis.

A brand-spankin-new, 2WD Sierra. Seeing as we had recently moved back to our home-land ( SoCal), he really didn't have the need for 4 wheel drive. Gone were the days of going off-roading and playing in the dirt. His truck would now serve as a vehicle to transport surfboards to and from the beach, and the occasional loads of Home Depot purchases...and eventually children. It would be quite a sight watching a 5 foot tall wife load a 30 lb kid into a truck with floor boards as tall as she was.

I loved that truck.

You could hear him coming from a mile away.

Did I mention, I loved that truck?
Anyways, I love his new truck too...Totally more functional for every day use, not to mention I can get in it all by myself ( I know, I'm such a big girl now) without a boost. ..but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss his "fun" truck. Our neighbor has fun get-dirty trucks, and I'm thinkin' I might just support NZ in getting another "fun" truck to play around with. What's this truck luvin' girl want???


A Chevy K5 Blazer..

Photo courtesy of

An old one.

Preferably a 1970's model. I like them old. Makes me not feel so bad about them getting dirty and all. I do like the old school Broncos, but my ol man doesn't buy Fords. So, that's not even an option.

I guess all we need to do now is win the lottery, and I can buy a brand new car for myself (ahhhem, Storm Trooper Audi) and a toy for us to enjoy and get dirty in...cause I'm a woman that loves her pick-up man.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sweaty Palms

Last night I attended the 2010 NCAA Regional Gymnastics Championships held at Pauley Pavillion, site of Mary Lou Retton's 1984 Olympic GOLD! I have been to Pauley a few times before, but my goodness, walking in to a building in which Olympic History was made ( by one of my all-time favorite athletes) always takes my breath away.
I had received a last minute invite to attend, and as soon as I found out that this wasn't just ANY meet, but the NCAA Regionals, I knew it was going to be awesome. Don'tget me wrong, I would attend any meet that UCLA hosts, however, Regionals is the mecca for the nation's top teams and individual qualifiers. Seeing as I am a former Aggie ( not Texas, UCDavis..let's get that straight) gymnast, and a bit out of the loop with the current Aggie roster, I went on the UCDavis athletics website to find that THREE Aggie gymnasts would be competing last night GO AGS!!! The girls did a fantastic much fun to watch..but as we were sitting there watching them swing away on bars, I couldn't help but notice...I had sweaty palms..I willed them to stick things by pushing myself back into my seat, and that adrenaline rush was back..You'd think it was ME out there competing by the way I was acting (= So, I guess the saying should go, ONCE a gymnast, always a gymnast. That feeling NEVER goes away...And of course, UCLA dominated. They have un-paralleled choreography and music for floor, and the crowd was REALLY into it. Granted, this was a home meet, but I would venture to say that pretty much anywhere UCLA performs floor,they have the crowd sucked in. The floor routines were AMAZING. Kudos to coach Kondos-Field for her excellent work with the girls. (photo below is UCLA gymnast)
BYU showed some strong beam routines (BYU gymnast pictured below on floor), Arkansas stuck some perfect vault landings, and Arizona rocked my favorite color combo of Red White and Blue..They looked sailoriffic in their leos out there. I was too busy jocking their leos to really notice their gymnastics, so oops!
All in all, it was a fantastic night, spent with some special ladies and an up-and-coming-7-year-old gymnast...and my favorite past time..GYMNASTICS..Sweaty Palms and all.
Anyone got Chalk?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

She thinks my tractor's sexy..

"She thinks my tractor's really turns her on...she's always smilin' at me..while I'm chuggin' along.." Okay, maybe not really, but who can resist singing a Kenny Chesney song when they see a tractor? Not me, that's for sure. NZ and our neighbor were up at the crack of dawn this morning to go rent a tractor for our yard (dad, we wish we lived closer, we'd just borrow yours)..I got my morning run in as I always do on Saturdays, and what do I see when I hop off the treadmill, but a beautiful blue TRACTOR in our yard, with both guys eager to get to the business of spreading out the massive dirt pile that we've accumulated with all the excess dirt that was removed to erect The Great-Wall-of-Zentil at the back end of our property.

Soon enough, we'll have the backyard we've been envisioning in our heads since buying this house..Sometimes I get a wild and wooly thought that maybe, just maybe I will go out and get my hands dirty helping, but then, I get realistic and remind myself, I'm a girl, and this girl doesn't do dirt. Not without complaining, at least. I think I will do what I do best, and spend my afternoon sewing, and leave the tractor fun to the boys.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter, Yosemite style

Every year, the Zentil side of our family heads to Yosemite for a week of relaxation during early Spring. It's safe to say that we all start looking forward to the next Yosemite trip the minute we have our cars packed up and are heading home on Highway 41. It's that special.
I don't know many families who have yearly gatherings in which almost EVERYONE attends..and EVERYONE, including the tweens, look forward to it like it's Christmas morning all over again. On our drive home today, I was telling NZ just how cool this time is that we ALL spend together, and I am so thankful I married into it. I believe this tradition was started in the early 80's by my father-in-law ( Someone correct me if I am wrong), and has continued on each and every year since.
This year, Yosemite week ended up including Easter ICY. Cold. Easter. Weekend.

Let me just say, Southern California bred children do not "do" ICY COLD weather very well without freezing to death and telling everyone around them, multiple times just how cold "we" are... Instead of our usual picnic area noshing and cribbage playing (which got vetoed by most of the women due to the 30 degree weather) much of our time was spent hiking during the warmest hours and jumping from Lodge room to Lodge room playing games and hanging out during the rain and snow showers. Definitely a different pattern than in years past, but as the Zentils do, we made the most out of it and enjoyed every stinkin' minute together. My favorite part? A rousing game of Charoodles on Friday night. If you haven't played it before, you're missing out on a ton of fun. Think charades with props. AWESOME.Just how many of us were there, you wonder?

On Saturday, the adults took the opportunity to hide easter eggs in a nearby field during one of the brief moments in which it was not raining or snowing. The kids LOVED it, and it was a good ending to a fun weekend together.
Now it's time to unpack, put laundry away and start looking forward to Yosemite 2011.