Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Around the Fabulous City

I love New York. I would never want to live there (unless it was just for a year or something...that might be sort of fun) but I love visiting the city. Manhatten is very expensive but loads of fun. Whenever we go (well, the two times we have gone) we always see something new. That's part of the fun of New York City. Last time we went (6 years ago) we saw all the traditional things. Statue of Liberty. Empire State Building. Ground Zero. (we went four months after the attacks so that was still a very big thing while we were there) This trip I opted to see some things we didn't see last time. High on my list was Tiffany's but we didn't make it this time. So much to do and so little time. But let me tell you what we did see.

Our first day of sightseeing we headed to Times Square.

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If you go to New York and you wanna shop, go to Times Square. We simply HAD to see the Toys R Us store while we were there. No interest 6 years ago but now with a 3 year old, this became a must see.

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Upon entering this giant kingdom of kidhood, you see a gigantic ferris wheel...

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...that you have GOT to ride. Yes. Check it out. Each car is different and Chloe immediately spotted the "Buzz Movie" car.

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Down the elevator we ride into the basement to purchase tickets and wait to see which car we get. Some of the cars Chloe didn't recognize but we lucked out and got Mr. Potato Man. FUN!

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Then it was time to browse this awesome store of childhood splendor. We saw giant dinosaurs. (which scared Chloe to death)

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I took one picture of this thing and when we got home I found something like 20 on the camera. I guess James really liked this thing since he snuck back sometime during our adventure and took loads of pictures of it. (most of which got deleted while I was browsing through the pictures...why we need 20 pictures of a giant dinosaur, I do not know) Anyways. Chloe adored the lifesize Barbie house. (could be because it was filled to the brim with Barbie stuff)

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After visiting "Candy Land" complete with statues of gingerbread kids, Lord Licorice, Mr. Mint and all, we headed to M&M's World. If you like M&M's than this is the store for you.

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Three levels of chocolaty goodness. One wall completely devoted to M&M's in every color imaginable. I picked up some Central Park Green, Bright Pink, Bright Purple, Torquoise and a Yankee Mix. (navy blue, grey and white) What an awesome store. A little over priced though. $10.95 for one pound of M&M's. But hey. Where else are you going to find pink M&M's, right?

After lunch we walked to the American Girl Store which was loaded with American Girl dolls. Oh, I was in heaven. I think this would be the perfect place to take Chloe for her fifth birthday party. I think we will let her choose one girlfriend to take with her and we can buy her first doll. I have a little under two years to save up for this doll. (because they are something like $80...a little pricey) I used to love reading these books as a girl though and I was tickled to see a whole store devoted to them. What fun.

After that, we walked up the street to St. Patrick's cathedral. The pope was coming to the cathedral the next day so we were glad we didn't try to go there then. Got it out of the way the day before.

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Beautiful. Absolultely beautiful. I can't wait to get to heaven and see God's personal archetecture. Its going to be so much more amazing than this piddly little building.

After trucking around the city on our feet all day, we headed uptown to the Upper East Side for a little tea at Alice's Tea Cup. A cute, whimsical little tearoom, perfect for kids. Chloe even got her own set of fairy wings to wear while we dined.

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Traveling around the city on the subway was much easier for me this time. (aside from the fact that we had to hand-carry the stroller up and down stairs the whole time and subways aren't very "stroller-friendly") I felt much more comfortable this trip than on my previous trip.

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I forgot to show you a picture of the inside of Yankee stadium in yesterday's post. I can't believe I did that.

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Such a gorgeous place. Its seems a shame that they have to tear it down. Such a sad shame. Its the house that Babe built, after all. How can they tear it down?

On one of our drives around the city, we happened to see a video board that James brother installed. Check this out. The middle screen is the video that plays commercials and such. At night the outer squares light up and puts on a show of sorts. (we didn't get to see it at night though)

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We had a fabulous time in the city. I have more to tell you all but I will wait for another day and another post. I must go now to wash the drywall dust from my hair from yesterday's home improvement project so I can sprinkle more in today. We decided to drywall in our basement closet and install shelves. We have no storage in this house so I am pretty excited to finish out this closet. (remember that we put doors on the closet before Chloe's birthday?) I will tell you more about this project another time though. I really must be going before James starts to wonder what I am doing. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Most Awesomelyest Game!

A couple of weeks later...

The Yankee game was awesome. We couldn't have asked for a better game. Of course, getting sick after our week in New York was NOT awesome and hindered me from posting about our trip until now. Well, almost. Plotting out a bathroom remodel also took a bit of time as well. But, I have a few moments this morning so I will attempt to get this post made while drinking my cup of coffee. Then I must really get going and "tackle" something today. (its been a while for a Tackle it Tuesday)


We arrived in New York City and checked into our hotel room with plenty of time to relax and settle in before heading uptown on the subway to Yankee stadium. Because this was my second time in the City, I felt a bit more comfortable on the subway than I did 6 years ago. I entered those turnstyles like anyone who's lived in the city their whole life. Okay...so that's a slight exaggeration seeing as how we were manuvering a stroller up and down stairs and all. They sure don't make that subway place very "wheelchair" or "stroller" friendly.

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But we made it to the stadium with time to spare for a hot dog before entering. I forgot to get a picture of the outside of the stadium but I did manage to get a picture of the new stadium across the street.

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And, of course, James with his hot dog. (or sausage dog)

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Okay. You notice in this picture that James not only has a Yankee t-shirt but also a Yankee cap? These are only part of his Yankee wardrobe. Thie guys has so many t-shirts to choose from and at least 3 (yes...THREE) ballcaps in his closet. So, after seeing everyone wearing their Yankee Pride, I felt a little out of place...almost like I was a Red Sox fan or something. (horrors) So, James immediately bought me a Yankee ballcap (brown and pink since that suits me better than the traditional blue and white) and a Derek Jeter t-shirt (which is, of course, pink). Ahhh...once I donned these, I could smile and walk into that stadium with pride. I became the true Yankee fan.

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Chloe wanted to try "Mama's hat" too.

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We made it into the stadium in time to see the Boston Red Sox batting practice. If only we had skipped the hot dogs before the game we might have caught some of the Yankee batting practice. Oh well. Can't see everything, right? First person we saw was Jason Varitek. Okay. So, I shouldn't have snapped this picture, but hey! How often do you get to see these people and you know what??? He's famous. So what that he's a Red Sox. I didn't know if I would get anyone else on camera, so I took the picture.

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I thought it might be good to get a picture of the scoreboard to prove that we were actually at the Yankee/Red Sox game. (for those future generations who might doubt)

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I got so into the game though, that I failed to snap a picture of the scoreboard during the last inning. That would have been cool, but more on that later. We got to see Ching-Ming Wang coming from the bullpen before the game began with his catcher Chad Moeller. I was disappointed to see that it was not Jorge Posada walking with him. (my favorite catcher) But later on, I would become a small fan of Chad Moeller, with his three hit game.

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Jeter played awesome. Oh...it was so much fun to watch my favorite baseball player in action. Ahhhh...I only wish I could have seen him up close.

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He saved the game for us. Bases were loaded. Red Sox were ahead. Only one out left. Jeter at the plate. I was rooting for a grand slam. (boy was I yelling for it) I didn't get my grand slam from my favorite player, but I did get a double with a couple of RBI's. Wooo Hooo. That's my boy!!

And guess what! I got my hot dog.

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It was the worst hot dog in hot dog history. Literally. I have never eaten anything worse. I highly doubt I will ever crave a hot dog during a televised Yankee game ever again. (even during the playoffs or world series - it was that bad) But, at least I tasted one, and yes, I ate the whole thing. Nasty bread and all. I couldn't very well throw away an $8 hot dog, now could I?

So, the Yankees hit many balls. The Red Sox hit a ton. We had tense moments with thoughts of losing. The we had thrilling moments when we came back and scored runs. Every single starter for the Yankees had a hit. Jeter played beautifully. The fans were crazy. We won 15-9. (yes...it was a real slug-fest) And best of all, I saw it all. Ahhhh....what a beautiful birthday present. So, now I am asking for James to take me again next year. (ha ha ha) I told him that since next year is the opening season in their new stadium that we need to be there. It will be a monumental moment in history, right? (of course, that's what I told him this year with this being the last year in the House that Babe built) Who knows. It could happen. I won't be getting a hot dog though. I will stick with peanuts and cracker jacks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We are Good to Go!

Update for you all on our ticket situation. We've got TICKETS! That's right. We finally got our new tickets in a better location. We are closer to third base now. Although we won't be catching any home runs in our new seats, we will get a better view of Derek Jeter. Wooo Hoooo! And guess what!! He's playing tomorrow. I am ecstatic. I couldn't be happier. That's all I have to say for tonight. I am off to catch some shuteye before we hit the road in the morning. I leave you with a little video. Just you watch and see why Jeter is my favorite. (and I saw most of these plays in games which is 100% better than seeing them on a little clip. They are so much more stunning in a regular game. This guy is amazing)



Have a wonderful week everyone. I'll catch you when I get back.

The Thing and Other Things

THE STORY OF THE THING


Yesterday, at about 1:43 pm, boredom struck. Well, it actually struck around 10:54 am, but I finally had enough at 1:43 pm. I pulled out the gift my mother sent me from the top shelf of my closet. I could no longer wait for Chloe to wake up from her nap or James to get home from work so I opened the gift by myself. As I opened it, I saw something black inside. It had no packaging and no paperwork of any kind. It was just this big black thing all scrunched up in wrapping paper. (scrunched might not be the best word here. My mother wrapped "The Thing" very well.)

I puzzled over "The Thing" for a few minutes, trying to figure out what it was. I didn't want to get it wrong because I just knew I was supposed to know what it was.

Golly, this was hard. Let me describe "The Thing" to you. It was a big, rectangle box-like shape. It was made from black fabric like a tote bag would be made from. (a sturdy tote bag) It was safe to assume it could very well be a tote bag of some sort. Okay, then. I found a handle on one side. Yes, definately a tote bag. A box-ey tote bag.

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One side contained a bunch of gromet holes and a clear plastic pouch with zipper. Each side had a compartment of some sort. Some clear plastic. Others normal. I couldn't figure it out. It was definately a tote of some sort.

At this moment, my girlfriend "K" rang up and asked me how my birthday was going.

"Cunfusing," I answered.

"Why?" she responded.

"Because my mother sent me a gift and I don't know what it is."

"Describe it to me," she said.

Hmmmm...that would prove more difficult than she realized. I laughed a couple of scared little chuckles and then proceeded with my best attempt at a phone description of the contraption sitting on the bed in front of me. We both came to the conclusion that it was a tote. I then asked...

"What do I say when I call my mother to say thank you?"

"Hmmm...I don't know," "K" replied.

"I can't very well say, 'Thank you for the Thing, Mom. What is is?' can I".

"No, that wouldn't be very good," "K" replied.

We ended the converstation and then came the moment when I knew I had to call my mother and say thank you for "The Thing".

I ended up saying this...

"Thank you for my birthday gift Mama."

"Your welcome."

*nervous chuckle* "What is it?"

"A knitting tote."

"Ahhhhh!!! I figured as much."

She laughed and then said she figured I wouldn't know what it was. Aren't mothers great? This one cracks me up. I love her.

THE END


So, I had a lovely birthday weekend. Saturday morning I sold some items in a yard sale, the proceeds of which will fund my multiple trips this summer. July with the family (with a short venture to Leavenworth - not the prison, the Belgium Alps town located in Washington State) August to Prince Edward Island to spend a week at a cottage with some girlfriends, September to the Midwest (or Mideast) to spend some time with my dear friend Melanie. "K" and I also have many smaller trips planned in between these larger trips. North Carolina, Deleware and of course a couple of visits up to Lancaster will be thrown in here and there. Anyways, the yard sale money will surely help out on those trips. That's for sure.

After the yard sale, I came home to clean the house all afternoon, make homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and bake my cake.

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I am still having a little trouble with consistancy but it was much better this time and actually looks pretty good. I picked some flowers from my garden and set the cake on the table next to them.

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Chloe insisted on sitting with me to open my gift from "K".

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What a sweet and thoughtful friend. Can you believe that she bought me cake decorating supplies? A few different tips, a tip-cleaning brush (was wishing for one of those), a flower spindle thing (to make roses and such on) and a cake leveler. What a dear. (and a snot, because I told her not to bring me a gift) Pam did the same thing though. I told her not to bring me a gift and she brought me a Begonia and a King Size bar of chocolate. Ahhh...I can't refuse flowers and chocolate. I am truly blessed in my friends and I am so thankful we have good friends who will share our birthdays and holidays with us while we are so far away from family. God is good!

Now "K's" husband "K" (weird, huh?) gave me a pretty special gift too. They were the ones I went to the yard sale with in the morning. You also have to understand that they are the youth pastor and wife at our church. Now that you have this in your imagination, you can better understand the gift that "K husband" gave me. Binoculars. Complete with the price tag left from their yard sale. ($1) Chloe loved them.

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What a great friend. He wanted to do something truly special for me. It worked. Chloe played with them for an hour the next day. *grin*

Chloe still has her fascination with being "in" things. Boxes, bags...anything she can climb in.

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The life of the party, really. She makes me laugh like nothing else. I love this kid. Yesterday was my "real" birthday and as I mentioned before, I spent more than half the day wandering around my house bored. In the evening, James informed me that our car would have to return to the shop today because they tightened the belt to tight when they serviced the car last week. That means I had to do my shopping for our New York trip last night. Ugggg. I hate shopping at night. Especially on my birthday. But, to make the trip worthwhile, I stopped by Joanns and bought some patterns for $.99 each and some Red Tag fabric that was half off the clearance price. I got enough fabric to make two dresses for myself, two dresses for Chloe two summer pajamas for Chloe for $17. What a bargain.

Chloe claimed that it was "wet side" (which means raining outside) and took her umbrella with us. (just so you know...it was clear, blue skies yesterday)

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We've had a little issue come up with our Yankee tickets that has left me a little stressed and worried. Not only did we get tickets that were for the wrong section than was advertised, but James didn't realize when he bought them that WC meant wheelchair. He called Yankee stadium and they informed us that we would be turned away at the gate if we showed up with these tickets. Uggg. Talk about stress. So, James called up stubhub and was on the phone with them for over an hour yesterday. There is nothing they can do about the "WC" thing because they did say "WC" and they can't help it that we didn't know what that meant. But, we got lucky with the seller sending us tickets for the wrong section. Granted, they were the same price and pretty much the same location. Section 114 instead of 116. Because of this little error, we were able to find a loophole to get different tickets that are not WC. Only problem is, the tickets they are going to get for us can sell at anytime. They were "supposed" to call us back yesterday at some point to confirm they were purchasing the tickets while we are on the phone with them, but they never did. James called this morning and had to give them the whole sphiel all over again. Now, we still have to wait for a phone call which we have not recieved yet. In the meantime, these tickets can sell to someone else. BUT...they have promised us tickets that are comprable or BETTER than the tickets we have at no extra charge to us. James is thinking that since this game is almost sold out, we might end up getting some awesome tickets. I am just hoping we get tickets.

Anyways, I am trying to keep calm about all this and I am in the midst of packing to keep my mind from worrying. I leave you with a bit of Mambo Magic. I love this song (sort of long though) and although most of these players are either retired or no longer with the Yankees, I love them all. I sort of miss this team.



I am off to have some lunch and pack for the trip to YANKEE STADIUM!!! Wooo Hooo. Go Yankees!!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Little Brown Knit Dress

So this dress took a tad bit longer than 2 hours. I wonder if that's because I made it with knit. I don't like knit. I have come to that conclusion. It slips and slides and won't lie perfectly flat. I like things to lie perfectly flat. Knit also stretches too easily and it tends to go where you didn't place it so you end up with puckers and tucks. Nope. I think I don't like working with knit.

But knit is oh so comfortable. Can I give that up? I doubt it. I finished the dress this morning. McCalls 9456.

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I felt adventurous today and so I took in about 2 inches on either side of the dress so it would fit me better. I still look like a balloon though. But the dress is so comfortable. Its a little low cut for my taste though. I can't bend over without showing everything I've got. What can I do? I wonder if I could wear it backwards....

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Yup. That's better. Chloe just had to get in the picture with me. Its great fun posing with Mama. (and you gotta love a tripod) Here is the front of the dress which is now the back of the dress.

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Much better. It works. Only problem is, while cleaning the house and traipsing up and down the stairs all day, the dress tends to fall down the back and choke me in the front.

In other news...I really did traips up and down the stairs today. I even pulled boxes out of the storage underneath the basement stairs and sifted through them. I've been invited by my girlfriend "K" to a yard sale at a church she works with. We are going to get a couple of tables and sell stuff. I found plenty of stuff to sell too. I am always amazed at how much I can get rid of. I am the opposite of a pack rat and yet I always find more stuff to get rid of. I hate clutter and I am not one to hang on to things I don't use or want. It also helps that we move every couple of years.

I practiced cake decorating again yesterday. It didn't go so well. I just can't seem to get the consistancy right or something. Everything I make keeps breaking. I am beginning to wonder if Wilton is right and I need to add some piping gel. Anyone know anything about this?

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I love those little flowers. They are so simple to make. Only I can't get the middles to do right. Like I said, the icing breaks off and creates a crater in the middle of my flower.

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You see how the bottom of the shells breaks off? What is going on???

Anyways, Chloe's friend Daisy is here for a slumber party. Chloe's first slumber party. We are going to eat pizza and watch the Yankee game. (they are at Fenway today...the dreaded Red Sox) The girls will probably watch a movie on the computer while we watch the game. Or they can play or do whatever. I don't care. It keeps Chloe out of my hair for a while. (he he he) Have a wonderful Friday night everyone.

Inky Am

I couldn't sleep last night. At 2:00 am, as I lay there wondering why, it dawned on me. I am going to a "Inky Am" on Wednesday. And not just any "Inky Am" but one against the Red Sox. Is it any wonder I couldn't sleep? Then, I awoke this morning at 6:12 am and was not able to fall back asleep.

So, here I am, dreaming about the "Inky Am" next week and hoping Derek Jeter will come off the DL and play. (for all of you non-baseball fans out there, the DL is the Disabled List) It would seem that Jeter strained his quad or something Monday and they are uncertain how long he will be out. The announcers for last nights game (good game, by the way) made it seem like a long time because they were mentioning Arod taking over in the shortstop position until Jeter comes back. Hmmm...could be speculating too soon. I don't know. I am worried though. He MUST play against the Red Sox on Wednesday. They are playing tonight so I will see if I can watch that game.

What's an "Inky Am" you ask? Upon telling Chloe yesterday that we would be going to a Yankee Game next week, she immediately started jumping up and down, shouting "Inky Am". And if that isn't enough to get you excited, check this video out. Short and sweet.



Go Yankees!!!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It Smells So Good!

I stare at the calendar every day. About once an hour. And look what arrived in the mail today.

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Yes! I actually sniffed it. (a couple of times too) I almost smelled hot dogs. Almost. And cracker jacks. It actually just smelled like paper.

Its almost here. Less than a week. This time next week, the game will be over and hopefully the Yankees will have won. I am counting on my being present a good luck charm for them so they win the world series this year.

I wonder if we should think of a witty sign to take so they will shoot us for ESPN. Yup. The game is being broadcast by ESPN so you need to watch and see us. What should my sign say? Jeter is my favorite...But Arod is more likely to do something Big in April. Can't stand Damon so don't even mention him. Well, I gotta run. The beautiful outdoors is calling my name and the grass smells so sweet. (not as sweet as these tickets though)

Woooo Hooooo!!!!!!!! I'm GOING!!

"Take me out to the ballgame.
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks.
I don't care if I never go back
For its root, root, root for the home team.
If they don't win its a shame.
For its one, two, three strikes, you're out
At the ol' ball game!!!"




(Love Mr. November!)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Sewing Sort of Week

Too much, too much, too much. Its all too much. Ahhhh!!! Why I do this to myself, I will never know. I think I have learned my lesson though. The yarn stash is almost completely gone from my sewing room. (Praise the Lord!!!) I am working on the thread stash. That takes a bit longer. (as you can well imagine) This week I contemplated what I wanted to accomplish and it hit me. Sewing projects. I have so much fabric that I purchased for various projects last fall and I never got around to sewing them. Do you think that stopped me from purchasing more fabric for more projects? Not a lick.

I might have reason to use the sewing/craft room for something other than sewing/crafting (no...not pregnant) when James gets back from his deployment this fall and so my new goal is to have all my stashes of whatnot dwindled down to appropriate sizes. There just isn't enough room in the basement (which is our family room) for everything in that sewing room. So, that means I need to light a fire underneath me and get a move on.

Well, the first project I did was sew a shirt for myself. I have found it extremely hard to find a pattern that fits, that's not extremely cantankerous to make and that looks good on me. I found one. Butterick 4685.

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And I made my favorite skirt too. (see above) I love it even more in this longer length. I adore this pattern. And I love a long skirt. I wore it yesterday for James and asked if he liked it. Here is what he said.

"Its nice for around the house."

Huh? He just doesn't see things the way I do. I would wear this skirt every where. Its so cute. Well, like my mother said, I can wear it all summer long to my hearts content and it can get all worn out by the time he gets back so he doesn't have to see me in it too much. (gotta love a mother's perspective, right? LOL) I wonder if I can get away wearing it to the Yankee game next week? I have enough fabric to make Chloe something too. I would love to find a skirt pattern for her as well, but that means running to the store and they don't have patterns on sale right now. Hmmm...I do have a dress pattern I could make for her. Would that be cheesy? Us showing up to the Yankee game in matching outfits?

But I am extremely thankful to have finally found a shirt that I can wear, that looks good on me, that's modest and that is relatively cheap to make. Not a lot of bells and whistles or extra sewing. I need to buy some fabric in other colors and make more. (after I get this stash dwindled down first)

This morning I just finished a second dress. This one took a bit more time than I am used to sewing on one thing. But the end results are totally worth it. TOTALLY.

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This is the single, most nicest, mostest beautifulest thing I have made for myself. I am quite pleased. It fits me quite well. (a HUGE problem I have been having lately in sewing patterns for myself) Its modest. (although the neckline could be a tad bit higher and I wouldn't mind) The fabric suits me perfectly AND looks swell on me. I am so proud of this dress that I can wear it to church even. Its perfect enough and nice enough for a church dress. Oh...I am so pleased. I think I will make more of this one too. The cool thing is, its lined. That means I can make it in a heavier fabric for winter. The other cool thing is that it comes with a jacket, either long or short. So it would work well for winter. But this dress, as is, will work for spring, summer and autumn too. Add a jacket and I have a year round dress. Like I said...totally worth it. I used Simplicity 4014.

Well, now...I am off to cut out and sew a "2 Hour Dress". I wonder if it really only takes 2 hours. Hmmm... It is McCall's 9456.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Pastor Wives Expo

A few weeks ago my girlfriend "K" invited me to teach crocheting at a Pastor's Wives confention this weekend. Last night to be precise. I immediately informed her that I would have to speak to my husband about it. I had just finished reading the book "Created to be His Helpmeet" by Debi Pearl (most wonderful book ever written and a MUST READ for every female on the planet) and I thought it would be best to ask my husband if he wanted me to do this or not, secretly hoping that he would say, "No. I don't want you to do that." Because, quite frankly, the idea scared the wits out of me. (not that I had any wits to begin with, but if I did have wits they would have been scared out of me at that very moment)

Guess what James said! Not was I what hoping he would say. "I think you should do this Anna." Uggg...why did I ask?

So, I have been sweating about this for a few weeks now. I actually tried my best not to think about it at all. I just pretended life was normal, which it wasn't...but I tried. I spent the past week working my fingers to the bone getting ready for this expo. Not only was I to teach crocheting, but I could advertise my business and even sell something if someone asked.

What can I sell? Aprons. I thought aprons might be a nice little something to sell. I made four this week. Two Ladies sizes and two toddler sizes.

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I made these using Sugar and Cream cotton. I have about decided that maybe I should start making these aprons with some acrylic. The cotton gets so expensive and is quite heavy. Acrylic would make the apron much lighter in weight. Does anyone have any preferences to their kitchen aprons? What do you think should be used. Acrylic or cotton?

Next...the blue and brown aprons.

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These aprons are so delightful that I made them in the funnest colors I could find. Wouldn't any mother and daughter look priceless baking chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen with this set on?

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They didn't sell last night. I have two options now. I am going to add them to my website Boutique and also to my Etsy shop. My girlfriend and I might rent some booths at local craft fairs this year which means I need to start building up inventory. These aprons are part of that inventory, unless they sell on the website first. Then I will just have more money to make more aprons for the inventory.

These aprons would make a perfectly lovely mother's day gift for someone with a little girl.

But back to the Expo. I scrapbooked some pictures of my designs complete with prices and sizes listed. Want to know the amazing thing? I made the entire scrapbook yesterday afternoon. Its simple and yet everyone who looked at it last night loved it. (either that or they loved Chloe.)

I won't show you every page I made because they are all pretty much the same, but here are a couple.

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The layout for all the pages are the same as this. Half the pages used this background paper, the other half used a different pink paper. But one page used something completely different from all the rest. I even added some cute flower stickers to this one. (the flowers on the page above were used on all the pages)

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I will eventually need to figure out how to get the color options for each ensemble into the book. Not quite sure yet how I want to do that. I am also trying to figure out the order form thing. If I have a different order form for each dress I can simply add the color options for that dress on the order form. But that means having a ton of different order forms and it seems like a lot of extra work. I would like to have just one order form for everything. But then, what about the color options. Where do I put those? Ahhh....those business questions. I am not really in the right frame of mind today to think about them. The answers I would come up with wouldn't be beneficial.

Well, the night finally arrived. I drove myself across town (a long ways, mind you...very brave of me, very brave) and found the hotel on my own. (well...with the help of my trusty GPS. Can't go anywhere without that thing) I set everything up and then sat and waited for over an hour before the actual "expo" began. Why they had me arrive 1 1/2 hours early, I don't know. But I was glad for that time so I could calm my nerves with 3 cups of coffee and some crochet.

Four ladies actually learned to crochet. Three of them finished a whole coaster to take home. The fourth lady got most of hers done. I was impressed. Very impressed. Either all four ladies were quick learners or else I am getting better in my teaching ablilty. I am inclined to believe the latter. I have found in my brief teaching crochet career that I need to break the steps down into itty bitty little baby steps. I can't just say, "Make a slip knot" and then do it. I must break that down.

Because I have been crocheting since I was 8 years old, things just seem automatic for me. This has been my problem with teaching people in the past. I just assume they know. They don't. Its my job to teach them. I am learning to move slower and take it step by teensy step. It works well. I even taught two left-handed people to crochet. That, in and of itself, is quite a feat. They both sat down and said they wanted to learn and had tried before but no one could teach them or had no patience with them. The trick I have learned is that the left-handed person must sit opposite of you and face you. Then they mirror what I am doing that way. They actually crochet "backwards" from the way a right-handed crocheter works. When I insert my hook from the front to back through a stitch, they insert it from back to front. They work clockwise around the circle while I work counter-clockwise. Once I grasped these concepts, teaching a left-handed person to crochet became much easier. I was pleased that they learned and I think they were very pleased that someone could actually teach them.

All in all, it was a wonderful night. I got over myself (which I have to tell myself to do sometimes when my shyness takes over) and smiled at everyone and tried my best to be chatty with the ladies. God was glorfied. I prayed and prayed that He would work through me to bless these Pastor's wives and I pray now that He did so. I hope they go home feeling a tad bit more confidant in life because they picked up this little skill. Its amazing what a little thing like this could do for someone's self esteem.

Well, it seems that in the 20 minutes it took me to type this blog post, a miniature hurricane raced through the living room and kitchen and upstairs nursery so that now, nothing was where it was when I sat down. Amazing how quick these mini hurricanes destroy a perfectly clean house. I am off now to pick up the house, finish some laundry and read more of Milly-Molly-Mandy to Chloe. (whether she wants to hear it or not. I like this book so well that I want to keep reading it) We also are going to have our first lawn-mowing of the season today. Maybe even get some plants I started from seed into some planters outside. Have a great weekend everyone. And remember to smile at someone today. (even if its to yourself in the bathroom mirror. Everyone needs a smile)

Friday, April 04, 2008

And the Winner Is....

Number 6
Just little ol' me from http://proudsahm.blogspot.com/


I will be mailing your prize out sometime next week. Thank you so much for participating. Thank you to all who stopped by and commented. Thank you to all who even read my blog. Its so nice to know that I help and encourage and uplift so many of you by my humble little life. Each of you are a treasure and because you are such a treasure, I have decided to have a giveaway more often than...oh....say...once. I will try to have something lovely for you at least once a month. What say you to that???

Go out and smile to someone today. Bring cheer into someone's life by smiling and saying, "Hello." It could change their life. If not their life than maybe their day and isn't that good enough?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Struck Out, Yet Struck Gold

Alas, I failed to find any Grace Livingston Hill books or LM Montgomery books at the book store this morning. *sigh*. I found out from the owner that he doesn't actually sell paperback books. He doesn't even really sell anything but classic fiction. So, I struck gold in that department.

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Okay...so two of those are paperbacks, but hey! They are classics, right? Anyways, we recently read Mary Poppins and I found it to be so delightful that I now would like to own all of them. I found book number 2 and 4. I figure I have some time to hunt for book number 3 as I didn't find it today. He had a couple of copies of book number 1 but, as I said, we just finished it recently so I didn't feel I should purchase it so soon. Its not like I am going to be reading it again anytime in the near future...not with all the books in my closet I have yet to read.

I seem to recall reading The Moffats as a girl. The name rings a bell upstairs. I thought it would be fun to read to Chloe somtime. We just finished reading Charlotte's Web the other night and have begun Mary Poppins Comes Back. We rented it from the library which is how we have already begun before we bought it at the bookstore. I even found a couple of books for myself. Yay!

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Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott and No Holly for Miss Quinn by Miss Reed. I finished reading Village School by Miss Reed and found it charming. I think I better get to reading if I want to finish all these books before...umm...before what, I don't know. Maybe before I find more books I have to own? Before my next trip to the bookstore??? I'm not 100% sure before what, so I shouldn't have even written that sentence.

Anyways, we drove all the way to this fantastic used bookstore that claims to sell rare books (although everything I went looking for was not there...aside from Mary Poppins) and when we arrived there was a sign in the window that said "Come In. We're Open." Now this particular bookstore is owned by a little, old gentleman so he tends to run off for lunch or somewhere to buy more books or whatnot. So, before I parked the car down the street, I looked to make sure his sign said OPEN. It did! WOOO HOOOO. I parked the car, walked up the street, crossed the busy street with toddler on my hip and climbed the stairs to the front door. Sign still said OPEN but when I turned the doorknob it wouldn't turn. LOCKED! That's when I noticed a small, handwritten note on the door (not visible from the street) that said "be back in 15 minutes. Schucks!. This was the third time this month I have made the trip to this store and found it closed during business hours. This was the first time that it was closed while the OPEN sign was showing though.

Well, I did what any quick-thinking mother would do and walked down the street to my favorite antique store (because they sell used books too) and I found them. Two wonderful little books.

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I have to tell you...I have read the first 3 chapters of Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories and it is the cutest little book. Chloe doesn't pick up on most things I read about, but she loves this book already. Its quite challenging to read it aloud though as everytime Milly-Molly-Mandy is mentioned, her whole name is spelled out completely so I must read the full name. It appears at least once every sentence, if not more. It makes for a fun read though. It will become one of our favorites, I am sure.

So, I am off now to do something. What, I am not sure. I might read a book. I might crochet a bit. I might even order some pictures to make a scrapbook for tomorrow night. I probably should do the later. The least of desireables from that list. I won't be doing any cleaning though. I would much rather curl up and read Old Fashioned Girl and sip a cup of Earl Grey. I do have an apron that needs to be finished by tomorrow too. And also a teapot cozy for my giveaway tomorrow night. Hmmm...so much to do and here I am, typing away needlessly. Good day all. Have a wonderful Thursday afternoon.

Found Treasures

Please scroll down 3-4 posts to enter my 400th Post Blog Giveaway


There's nothing in the world like finding a treasure. We start when we are but 2 years old. Little things become our treasures. Favorite blankets. Stuffed animals. Rocks. You name it...it was probably a treasure at some point in your life. I remember when a small frying pan was a treasure of mine. I was a senior in high school and my parents bought me a frying pan for Christmas. You know, those little ones that you can fry about one egg in? I guess they were preparing me for my first apartment. I laughed at the frying pan gift, but let me tell you...when I moved into that first apartment the frying pan became a treasure. It was my only frying pan for about a year. (until I got married and could afford a bigger frying pan)

Finding treasures can even be a little bit of a challenge. Like a scavanger hunt. Who doesn't love a good scavanger hunt. I love them. There is one thing in particular I love to scavange for. Books. I adore books. I even collect them. (fancy that) Whenever I find a Grace Livingston Hill book I don't already own, I do a little boogy dance. (if you can picture me doing a boogy dance then you have quite the imagination...I don't do it in public. I wait until I get home and am in my bedroom with my books spread out over the bed. Then I do my boogy dance)

Yesterday I needed to run to the store to pick up a few things and I headed over to the used bookstore while I was out. I haven't been there in a few months and I got the tickle to visit. Well, lo and behold, I found a treasure.

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Not one...but TWO Grace Livingston Hill books I don't already own. How cool is that??? I decided I better start a list of books I don't own of hers so I went to the website and copied the list into a word document and marked the books I own. It surprised me just how many books I DON'T own of hers. There are 100 books on this list and I own probably 25-30 of them. I got my work cut out for me and I better get to scavanging if I aim to find the rest of this list.

I didn't stop there. Who can enter a book store and only buy two books? (not me) So I picked out some others to add to our bookshelf. (some are to read to Chloe)

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YOu see there are three books by Beverly Lewis there. I almost have that whole series now. (Abrahms Daughters series) I am missing book #5 The Revelation. My Prarie Legacy series by Janette Oak is now complete too. Yay! I have a soft spot for Janette Oak. While she may not be the most poignant author out there, she was the very first "adult" book I read at the age of 9 or somewhere around there. I couldn't get enough of her Love Comes Softly Series. From there I graduated to Grace Livingston Hill at about age 12.

So, anyways...you can see I picked up a couple of books for Chloe too. The Wind in the Willows, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic (my 5th grade teacher used to read to use out of this book every afternoon. I thought it would be fun to see if I remember any of it) and the Children's Story Garden. The last book was published in 1924 and contains numerous short stories that are not only interesting to read but they also protray morals and ethics. I guess back in those days, there weren't very many children stories that could spark the imagination but were also "religious". I am interested to read these. I will have to keep you posted about this book.

Now. These aren't the only treasures I have found recently. Last Saturday, my girlfriend took me to a lovely coffee shop downtown. A christian owns this coffee shop and roasts his own beans there as well. I was amazed to see that he also had shelf after shelf of books to read while you sip your cuppa. I found a couple of books and then noticed a sign on the wall that said, "All books are for sale." Do you wanna see why I almost did a boogy dance right there in front of my girlfriend? Check this out...

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Do you know what that is? Do you see??? That, what you see before you, is a wonderfully delightful book by none other than LM Montgomery herself. I have made it my mission in life to not only collect all of Grace Livingston Hill books but also all of LM Montogomery books as well. Do you know how tickled I was to find this? And it was only $1.25. I am going to share a quote for you from this book to show you just why I love LM Montgomery so very much.

Pat had her egg in the kitchen with plenty of butter gravy, and then there was the final ceremony of putting a saucer of milk for the fairies on the well platform. Judy never omitted it.
"There's no knowing what bad luck we might be having if we forget it. Sure and we know how to trate fairies at Silver Bush."
The fairies came by night and drank it up. This was one of the things Pat was strongly inclined to believe. Hadn't Judy herself seen fairies dancing in a ring one night when she was a girleen in Ould Ireland?
"But Joe says there are no faries in P.E. Island," she said wistfully.
"The things Joe do be saying make me sometimes think the b'y don't be all there," said Judy indignantly. "Wasn't there folks coming out to P.E.I from the Ould Country for a hundred years, me jewel? And don't ye be belaving there'd always be a fairy or two, wid a taste for a bit av adventure, wud stow himself away among their belongings and come too, and thim niver a bit the wiser? And isn't the milk always gone be morning, I'm asking ye?"
Yes it was. You couldn't get away from that.
"You're sure the cats don't drink it, Judy?"
"oh, oh, cats, is it? There don't be much a cat wudn't do if it tuk it into its head, I'm granting ye, but the bouldest that iver lived wudn't be daring to lap up the milk that was left for a fairy. That's the only thing no cat'd ever do...be disrespictful to a fairy-and it'd be well for mortal craturs to folly his example."


Ahhhh...I just love her style. Here's another one of my favorite LM Montgomery quotes. And guess what! There is a strong possibility that I might get to go visit this beloved Prince Edward Island (or P.E.I.) this summer. Yup! You read that right. Some girlfriends and I might make the long distance trip and spend a few days on that gorgeous island. Did you all know that this is the 100 year anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables? What better year to go than this one? And speaking of Anne...I have given it some thought and I feel that this is the year I must complete my Anne of Green Gables 37 Doily challenge. I have been putting it off long enough. It would make history I think...maybe not...but what better year to finish that challenge than on the 100 year anniversary of Anne?

Well, now. I am off to shower and head out the door. Can you guess where I am going? There is a used book store that claims they contain "rare" books nestled in amongst antique stores close to my house and so I am heading out there today to scavange for some Grace Livingston Hill and LM Montgomery. I hope you all have a lovely day. Don't forget to read a good book or two. You never know where they will take you. (and P.E.I is not a bad place to imagine yourself)