Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is why I love So Cal

Yes, that's 87 degrees at noon. A beautiful, breezy 87 degrees..I can't complain. The shirt below says it perfectly..

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hear me RAWR!

With one of the nephews under our watch on Sunday afternoon, I had the chance to make a prototype pattern for an idea I saw through eighteen25's "You gotta see this" blog the other day.

I raided my stash of anti-pill fleece and let my nephew sort through my leftover felt from the Quiet Book project I made for him a while back. We came up with a Navy blue and red color combo, which he thought was really dinoriffic.
I measured twice..First around his waist, and then from his waist to the floor. I cut a piece of non-roll elastic for his waist ( subtracted 1 inch before cutting) and then got to work on his very own dinosaur tail pattern. I subtracted 2.5 inches from his waist to floor height, so that he wouldn't be tripping all over it, and also to keep it from dragging on the floor. I laid out my fleece doubled over, and drew a swoopy tail shape ( so scientific, I know) that was 2.5 inches less than his waist to floor height in length. For the spine of the dino tail, I cut squares out of stiff red felt ( from the craft section at Michaels) and cut those in half. I pinned them betwee
n the two layers of tail and then got to sewing, leaving a 3' opening at the bottom for stuffing.

Here's where our tail turned into a little "fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants-and-use-whatever-we've-got"...I stuffed the tail with scraps of polar fleece, since I did not have any batting. It worked, but I will definitely be using batting in the future.

I cut two slits in the fat part of the tail and weaved the elastic through ( like a belt loop of sorts). I handstitched the velcro closed ( my machine was hating trying to sew on velcro). He slipped both his feet through, pulled up the waistband, and ladies and gentlemen, bestill's the cutest dinosaur, EVER! I had to share with him while sewing this, that not all aunts can make dinosaur tails..He then says to me, " I know, aunt B, some make T-rex tails". He's probably right..I'll just let him keep thinking that all aunts spoil their nephews with capes and tails and quiet books and such, because I seriously have no willpower when it comes to cute kid projects.

Hear him RAWR!

He loved it so much so, that his dad sent me this picture from school the very next morning, with the following caption " It hasn't come off".

Saturday, March 26, 2011

California love

I've been seeing state love everywhere these days.. I fell in love with a print by q.a. design over on etsy which was quite bold and cute, but gave the wrong part of California love with it's heart in San Francisco..So, I set out to make my own version of CA love..and it was so unbelievably easy!

A simple google search for free California state shape clip art, and some editing with my software over at Picnik, and voila...I could give any part of California a little love, and change the state and background color to my liking. Slipped it into a frame that I cluster with others, and wham, bam, thank you ma'am, a little homage to our hometown.

My next state love project will be a set of notecards for correspondence. I am just in LOVE with this little print.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You're my girl, blue!

After 10 years and 107,000 miles of memories, my girl blue died peacefully amongst her commuting friends of Thousand Oaks.. the middle of the road..

..during morning rush hour..

Okay, I may have freaked out more than I have ever freaked out in my life, as I sat in my car near the center divide frantically phoning my husband at work asking him what the (bleep) I should do.

So calm, cool and collected ( love his style), he walked me through opening the car door, getting out and crossing traffic to the nearby gas station where I was to ask for help. After getting turned down by the first two guys I asked to help me, two men whose mothers I'd like to thank for teaching them chilvalry, ran to my rescue and pushed my car to safety.

We had her towed to the mechanic, who called NZ with the grim news.

She was dead on arrival.

Timing belt went and engine was screwed up. The damage? More than she was worth.

So, we're sending her to scrapyard Heaven, where her parts will be donated to other little VW's in need. Perhaps her radiator will live on and give new life to another ailing jetta. One can hope, right?

My girl blue and I have had an up and down relationship since we first met. There have been times I have resented her, times I have loved her zippiness, and so many memories of hot leather seats in the Davis heat ( 110 degrees, and black leather anyone?), driving down the 101 with my sunroof open to soak up the random 80 degree December days, and even some nights spent pulling over on the causeway for drunken buddies to call the dinosaurs.

Even though we may be bringing a new car home soon, I have to say in "Old School" fashion,

"You're my girl, blue!"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blame it on the Rain

I couldn't help but bust out in a Milli Vanilli song, but to be completely accurate, we'd have to also blame the high winds and horrendous weather mother nature sent our way today for what occurred this morning across our neighborhood in lil 'ol N.P.

Our neighbor started out with 8 trees this morning, but by 12 p.m. today, 6 of 8 fell in the windy weather. Thank goodness no one was hurt, and I just watched it all unfold from my kitchen window.

When NZ and our neighbor got home, they felled the last two trees for safety reasons, and NZ spent the rest of the afternoon helping our neighbors cut
up the trees so that the street could be cleared.

This is just one of the many things I love about my husband. Today was his Sunday to relax,check out the RC show, kick back, go to the gym, do whatever he wanted...and what did he do instead??

He helped a friend.

in the rain.

in sopping wet jeans.

for 4 hours straight.

And never once will I hear him complain about it, because well, that's just not his style.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If I had to pick a pickle...

I'd pick Nathan's Kosher Dills....I found these at Sprouts market yesterday and before I even had my key in the ignition, I had opened the jar and taken one glorious bite...

...and it was TOTALLY worth biting a huge chunk out of my lip for....

..but did I let that slow me down??

Absolutely not...and this is why my jar that started with 10 pickles now only has 4.

Time to make a pickle run.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Brownie truffle wanna-be's

I've all but lost my urge to bake lately. Nothing jumps out at me as something that I-must-make-now-or-the-world-will-end, except that the other night, I opened our cabinet to organize our dry goods ( I know, exciting Monday night project, right?) and saw baker's cocoa and a recipe for Brownies.

I attempted to make said Brownies, from said recipe, and added a twist for St Patty's adding mint extract & semi sweet morsels to the batter. I baked up a 1/2 recipe (in case the recipe sucked), put it in a ziploc and mashed it all together into a "dough" of sorts. I rolled the dough into 1 inch balls, and chilled overnight in the fridge, much like one would chill a cakeball. This morning before work, I melted semisweet morsels on 50% heat in the microwave and thinned it with a little bit of that dreaded Crisco for dipping. After dipping each brownie ball, I sprinkled rainbow jimmies on top and placed them in candy wrappers.

Super cute, minty wanna be truffles.

If you're looking for an easy, bite-size gift or treat for those around you, these are perfect!

How long does it take... mow a yard???

In our case, it took NZ 2 1/2 hours to mow our "lawn".. which between you and me, is really just weeds. Last November, NZ had the backyard scraped and trenches dug..We now have a wonderful drainage system, so yay for NO MORE standing water next to the house every
time it rains....But, since then, we've had rain, and we've had weeds..and boy do those weeds grow...Now I know where that saying "growing like a weed" comes from...

NZ finally had a chance to get out back and mow this weekend ( it's been wet and our mowers been finicky), with a little edging help from our very favorite neighbor.
And yes, he's using a pushing lawnmower...He hasn't yet asked Santa for a ride on, as our plans for the backyard include a much larger concrete patio and a real lawn to mow, which should be maintainable by our push mower in the future..but for now, our sprawling yard takes a heck of a lot of manpower to clean up!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Birthday pennant banner

One of our etsy customers ordered a custom birthday sign for her little girl's birthday, along with some of our other Bucky & Boo party decor and was nice enough to send me a photo of the finished product...

Is this cute or what?

Sweet simplicity.

I've got a bunch of pennants made that need to be strung together...and can't wait to show them off.. I'm a huge paper source fan, and found some adorable paper to make some themed banners suitable for bake sales, birthdays, bridal showers, lemonade stands, tea parties or even just decoration for a child's bedroom.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Simple things

This is the life..

Uncle NZ & MRZ cruise the beach.

Have we mentioned how much we LOVE having our families close?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Adios mutha' fockas

I couldn't be happier to announce the end of an era.
After almost 4 long, arduous years of battling the raccoon population of our little domestic neighborhood, we WIN.

They had the upper hand on us for the first 4 years we owned this home. Let's just say that because of them, we...

...had our eucalyptus tree professionally cleaned out by the tree guy so that we could evict them from their tree home, if in fact that was where they were domesticating (and fornicating, apparently..the population has grown year after year..first we had 2, then 3...then 4..I think you get the picture) there. We learned after all that work of cleaning the tree out, that they were not residing in the tree. On the bright side, the tree looked fantastic with it's new it wasn't a lost cause afterall..

... had our kitchen trash ransacked by the bandits more than once..Nothing like waking up to dried egg yolk paw prints all over the kitchen floor ( yes, egg yolks, have you ever seen the amount of egg whites we consume in a week? I'd say 99% of the time, if you went through our trash, there's be at least half a dozen yolks kicking it in there)..And egg yolks, for those of you non-eggies, are a pain in the butt to try and clean up when dried..Anyone ever had their car egged? Yeah, it sucks...especially when it's your entire kitchen floor that is covered in them.

...fed the bandits $40 a bag cat food, not on purpose, of course. We originally stored Beav's food in the house, in a nice big bin with a "locking lid". Uhmmm, those bandits were able to get that lid off on an almost nightly basis, and with that, ate/spilled a good portion of our $40 a bag cat food! They were the best fed coons on the block! So, along with egg yolks, we also had a spilled bin of cat food all over the floor. And of course we would hear the commotion in the middle of the night, and NZ would get up with his "coon stick" ( a handle off of an old broken shovel) to go get them..but those suckers are fast, and would always beat him out the door and ride off into the great wild yonder.

...had to make our kitty an outdoor cat ( well, sorta..we also bought a new sofa, and beav likes to "knead" on it when left unattended, so he sorta made his own bed with this cause and effect). After a few months of the bandits entering our house (ick!!!) we decided to get rid of our cat door that lead into the house. NZ went out and bought a new side access door, and put the old door (cat door included) onto our garage back door, so that Beav still had a place to get out of the elements ( hah! What "elements" in SoCal? Spoiled cat...even on a cold day) and the garage became his sanctuary. The food bin got upgraded to a twist top bin, AND Beav got a brand new cat bed on top of the fridge for added warmth.

Problem solved, right?

Yeah,right.... I wish!

The coons quickly learned about the new enterance, and for the past 2 years have tipped Beavs food bowl and water over on a nightly basis. So, we've still been going through cat food like crazy, and afraid our kitty is getting bullied out of his meals. Add to that the fact that we have (on more than one occassion walked into the garage to find that something has sprayed my car, my sewing machine bin, NZ's lathe, toolbox, our washer/dryer and his fishing boots. DISGUSTING.

So, guess what???..TONIGHT WE WIN.


An electronic cat door..Beav's going in, you're staying out. Beav will get a brand new collar with a microchip that allows only him to enter and exit the door..Any non -invited guests will be greeted with a head butt to the door.

Adios, mutha' fockas!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another door closed

Today is one of those days...

..the kind of day where I wish I could stay in bed, covers pulled up, and just lie there for hours.

In the past week, I have felt mixed emotions. Some days I feel content and actually excited about the decision we have made, and others I feel like another door has closed, and there are only a few more open in terms of bringing a baby home.

You know that saying, "When one door closes, another one opens"?? I want to know...where is our open door??

A year ago, having the surgery to correct my septate uterus, I never expected to have been faced with the decisions we have over the past year. I'm glad that we decided to do what we did, but at the same time, it didn't work. Nothing has worked yet.

I'm tired of the rollercoaster of hope & grief, although the grief of another month gone is no longer a surprise. Now it's more like a day of woe-is-me and then it's onto preparing for the next month. I swear this infertility business is like a full-time job in it's own. Appointments, meds, schedules, protocols...all in hope that "this is the month"..and with each protocol that doesn't succeed, I have felt like one more door is closing on us.

I'd love to say with conviction that we will indefinitely get pregnant and stop sitting on the sidelines as baby after baby are born to friends, family and colleagues, but with the 0 to 3 track record, getting pregnant is only half the battle. I am glad we still have options, but at the same time it doesn't make sitting on the sidelines as another month...year...years go by any easier.

Call me impatient, but I would beg to differ...If trying for 3 years and having ZERO living children is being impatient, then patience is not a virtue of mine. I'm tired of doors closing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Breaking out the spontaneity

Last night we were...(pause)... spontaneous.

And...(pause)...we had fun.

What did we do that was so spontaneous and fun, you ask?

We took Nick's cousin, Rafi up on an impromptu invite to join him and a few of his friends at an old Hollywood landmark called The Dresden which, as soon as we walked into the music filled atmosphere, looked like we stepped into something out of the 1996 movie, "Swingers"...and when Nick said something about it, the guys we were with were like, "Yep. A scene from 'Swingers' was filmed here", and even better Elaine and Marty the musical entertainment in the movie, were performing last night as they do almost every night of the week.
[From the movie Swingers 1996]
Pretty darn cool--the decor and all..seemed like we took a trip back to the late 60's, very Mad Men-esque, mid-century if you want to be architecturally correct. Lots of orange, lots of wood panelling, lots of pleather seating..... It was fantastic.
My favorite part--the freaking chandelier lights (I'm a dork--I know)..but check these things out!

Okay, so maybe I should break out the honesty here, and admit that our spontaneity ended up with us sleeping in this morning since we're not used to climbing into bed at 2:00 a.m. anymore, and maybe, just maybe , we had to take a few cat naps this afternoon to make up for our late night jaunt to Hollywood, but Oh-em-gee was it ever fun to just get in the car and drive somewhere at the spur of the moment like we used to.
We may not be as good as we once were, but we're as good once as we ever were.