undeserving of a title

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28 February 2011

Sorry for such a late post. 

obviously...not much to tell you today.

unless you count:

1. My alter ego Gladys Kravitz coming out to play this morning peering out the window, devilishly squinting my eyes and suspiciously watching three teenagers...all clad in all black...traipse through our on the neighbor's swing set and then jump the back return the same way they came several hours later.

2. Our microwave dying an annoying and abrupt death and realizing how heavily my culinary skills rely on the deceased appliance.

3. Simon starting work at a new clinic this morning where our next door neighbor of almost two years (why did I just spell that neighboor over and over and over?) "john" works...only to see that his name tag reads "brian". Either we are idiots and he is really polite or he is a big fat liar. Hopefully the latter.

I had some time to kill tonight while Simon flexed his domestic muscles and made banana muffins and Julia flexed her mercyonmom muscles and slept for a long time. I know you have to be getting tired of the old shirt and pants fixes. I know I am...but that isn't stopping closet just keeps on giving. Look away and browse elsewhere if you must.
ignore my patriotic eyes
These pants that you may have mistaken for a brown grocery sack with legs are really annoying and fickle. They seem long enough to wear with heels but once the heels are on and the day is started...they ride up above my anklebones and look exactly like high waters. Back when I was a working girl at my first job on Capitol Hill (think Pam on the early seasons of the office: phone answering, mail sorting, printer paper filling)
oh...lucky you..I found a photo of my former glamorous post
happy face of the office (DH-you know you miss it)
... I stupidly dressed these suckers up with some impractical and not dressy enough wedges. Of course this would be the very first (and last) day I had to walk with the congressman for whom I worked to a radio interview a few building over. My floods hopped to and were riding high and happy and I looked like a real smarty clomping along with my inappropriately casual and highly uncomfortable footwear. Long, boring and basically irrelevant story. 

the changes:
well...not many noticeable differences. I still can't find shoes to tame these puppies (insert annoying and cheesy quip about not needing to wear shoes at my current place of employment) I added a fancy cardigan for flare instead which was fine because the shirt resize wasn't all that impressive anyway.

until tomorrow...

Buona Notte

7 (official) Quick Takes Friday Volume IV

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25 February 2011

 Linking up to Conversion Diary's Quick Takes once again

1. This week brought my life's overall sleeping hours average way down thanks to a five month old sadist by the name of Julia. I'm convinced she has her very own 'parent monitor' that successfully beats her eardrums when both parents are successfully sleeping. My lovely sister-in-law was so nice to watch Julia for me on Wednesday after a particularly horrible night and Simon stepped in and made dinner that evening. It was wretched night followed by the most wonderful day. 
formal family dinner 
(on the left: directly before Julia kicked my plate to the almost floor and on the right: Julia coveting a hoppy beverage)

2. Like the rest of the Catholic world I have noticed that something feels amiss this February. Where is Lent? A little on the tardy side of the spectrum this year...which I am not complaining about..merely noting. Our selfless Julia told me that she has decided to abstain from styling her hair for the Lenten season this year. . .
 setting the sacrificial bar very high for the rest of her family.

3. Speaking of Julia and sacrifices:
This mesh food bag contraption is on my shortlist of bebe 'needs'. Despite what it might look like, we did not put bits of a human corpse in the bag...just some frozen blackberries. She performed her first miracle...holding onto the intelligent design for five whole minutes. Entertainment for J, sanity for G. 

such a lady:

4. A Simon says snippet:
(cheery and pre-haircut)
After a recent shower of mine and before I had thoroughly washed my face...Simon nonchalantly offered, "Your eye makeup is smeared. You look like Marilyn Manson."
Never a lack of affirmation in this household. 

5. Copping out, beating a very dead horse and dedicating the next three takes to alteration before and afters 



Have a superb weekend. 

shirt and pants tutorial

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24 February 2011

Simon says he thinks people are getting annoyed with/tired of the alteration posts. He thinks perhaps a post about the wide array of my hair volumizing products might be more interesting (I have the most dull and lifeless locks in all of the land). I don't necessarily disagree with him but my bosom friend Jessica asked that I do a little alteration tutorial. I don't say no to bosom friends and agreed to do the tutorials and with all of this typed...I'm sure some people have already closed the window...most understandably. 
Shrinking shirts is incredibly easy even for sewing dummies like me and pants aren't too terribly difficult either. Hopefully this will help explain the processes a beeet:

Here is an American Apparel t-shirt I purchased recently with a Groupon. It is only a teeeeeny bit too loose so I'll only take that in a very little bit. As for the pants...they are obviously from my Nutella hoarding days...

we'll start from the bottom up with the pants. Necessary participants:
scissors (pinking shears are best but I don't have a pair), sharpie, pair of pants to be fixed and pair of pants you would like the pants to emulate/duplicate

begin by laying both pants bottom down (pants to be fixed need to be inside out) on a flat surface:
like so

Use the sharpie to trace the INSIDE of the top pant leg onto the fixer pants:
(I like to give a leeedle bit of space between the tracing and the top pants because you can always fix "too big" but it takes a LOT of seam ripping and cursing to fix "too small")

repeat on other leg

saddle the pants onto the sewing machine TOP of leg first. I start sewing RIGHT where all three seams meet so that I don't pull the back down and make lowwwwww rise pants

slowly pull away from the seem and start following the traced line

and keep going (you can start sewing inward at the knee if you want skinnier pants...or more outward if you want flares)

 Repeat on other leg (begin at the meeting of the seams like last time)

Now, cut the excess fabric (where those pinking shears would be nice to avoid fraying)
on both legs

let your very helpful little helper play with scraps:
try on!

If they are not sufficiently tailored...repeat process  (I had to repeat threeee times...but better than ruining the pants and making them too small with the initial tracing)

and onto the shirt!

fixer shirt, shirt to be copycatted, sharpie and scissors (and sewing machine that is not pictured)

Turn the fixer shirt inside out (muy important), lay the fixer shirt underneath the model shirt and line the collars up as best as possible and trace the top shirt from the BOTTOM of the sleeves down
just like that

head over to your anxious sewing machine and trace the lines...
 repeat on other side 

cut excess fabric
 try on!

(again...if too large...repeat and repeat again if necessary)

ta daaaaa
revel in all your altering glory

Confusing, crystal clear or somewhere in the murky waters in betwixt?

and again

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23 February 2011

more transformalterations for your viewing or snoozing pleasure

my apologies. . .there just isn't much going on in Kansas in February

there is also not much mothersleep going on here either

this is what fourbleepingthirty in the morning looks like...
beauty queen

and here we have the little lady ready for our swift walk around the block
sporting her 'yes that is a bonnet not underwear on my head' hat


there was a time that I was somewhat of a larger lady. I spent a semester in college in Austria and managed to pack on a lot of pounds by way of mashed potato-ranch dressing-swiss cheese-cucumber sandwiches (before I knew what carbohydrates were), beer, nutella and peanut butter sandwiches, straight nutella and cashews. I actually weighed about the same after that semester as I did when I was 9 months pregnant with Julia:
 No bueno. Anyway...I have a lot of pants that I poured my large and happy bottom into around that time...there were even some that I couldn't even get around my kneecaps...that are now (thankfully) too large. These are an example of a pair that I couldn't even dream of donning:
believe it or not, these are actually Jcrew 'skinny cords' disguised as black Wranglers. size: extra flattering
and that shirt was purchased by my mother at Costco and I love it ..lion mane et al...but it is a little stretched out (a favorite when I was 5-6 months preg)

so...I nipped a lot off the upper thighs and slivered the calves down a bit....made the shirt a hair smaller to give us...
a very tired looking grace with her newly cuffed cords and new two dolla mom loafer/moccasins
(if you can't tell much of a difference....that is understandable)

ok and the next: a dress that I got on sale from Banana Republic a few years ago. It has pockets which is great but is incredibly unflattering and gives me cruise ship sized hips
Blue Whale

I had no choice but to cut out the pockets (due to my lack of expertise in the sewing arena) and just tighten up the sides a bit...add a belt and some shoes:
 Obviously not something I would wear to Mass due to the near scandalous length and I'm not in love with either ensemble but the dress is now wearable-ish.

Simon is usually my go-to man on deciding which accessories to wear but he claims he is at a please vote below if you would be so kind. I forgot to include 'who cares' and 'both are bad' options...

lo siento.

fat belt and buckle shoes or skinny belt and stilts?

more of the same

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22 February 2011

the alterations strike again


The temperature plummeted over night...leaving me and Julia to do nothing but stare at each other after her first morning nap ended at 7:30. She encouraged me to continue with the sewing while she gnawed on a cucumber slice...

little dear

..but before we get to the masterpieces Julia and Simon spent some quality time together last night
they enjoyed some reflection gazing
 and then story time with a big bad chapter book
of which she successfully feigned interest for several seconds...
 but the truth eventually came out to play...


onward and downward
Inspired by this tutorial via one of my favorite blogs...I shrunk these bad boys by way of a sharpie and the sewing machine...

(and the shirt refashion technique is soooo early February...)
 school uniform: I'm not a boy...not yet a man

...and with a wave of my magic wand...
 ooo what have we here...a spandex cycling jersey and some flares that peaked in popularity circa 2005.
I think I went a little overboard with the shirt surgery.

and speaking of surgery...Simon is watching some (highly inappropriate) video for school about some horrific sounding surgery that has used the words: stirrups, catheter, fallopian tubes, anesthesia, cervix and incision multiple times. 

no and no

 thank you

(ps have you ever had dark chocolate creamer? you is very the spoonful or accompanying coffee)

an apple, some alterations and so much more

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21 February 2011

We've got a lot going on here today..bear with me while I trudge through it all...

First we present Julia enjoying the fruits of baby-led weaning...with an apple:
 such coordination and grace

 next on the docket: my weekly basketball brag on my little brother in the form of a (low quality but highly exciting) clip of Paul scoring the game winning, buzzer beating shot against the Horsemen in his last regular season game...(you should watch..only 21 little seconds)
Bravo. Take State, Huskies.

Whenever Julia finally goes down and successfully grunts herself to sleep (never not odd) for a nap or for the night...sometimes I can't help but channel my inner William Wallace  (maybe a little dramatic) and think in a simple roar...."FREEEEEEEDOM!!!"

Last night was no different. Simon traipsed off to beat his chest and play basketball while I had a girl (singular) night in with some Goodwill finds, the camera timer and the sewing machine. Insanity.

First I took this nothing fancy size large Target brand turtleneck (excuse my demon eyes in all photos..)
I did some nipping and tucking and cutting of the neck...
added a 99 cent belt....yikes...a little tight and gives me sausage arms improvement

The nice thing about this project was that when Julia woke up ready to party harty at 5 this morning ...she had some new toy scraps of fabric to add to her rapidly growing collection

moving on

If you haven't figured it out by now...I was home schooled (for grades 3-7...very key social years). When I returned to the confines of the traditional classroom in 8th grade...imagine my shock and horror when my fellow classmates were dating ('going out')...listening to music littered with curses and the girls were toting around Covergirl compacts....powdering their noses with makeup (!!!). Needless to say ... I was a real coolia with my large glasses, purple braces and Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. I wish I could say that I wouldn't have worn something like this skirt (proudly) paired with a French braid and a peasant blouse in sixth grade....
but I simply cannot tell a lie. So pretty.

So...after a lot of nipping at the hips and two large tucks to the hem ... we have this:
oh, weird..I think Anthropologie's design team is calling my flip cell phone. 
Just Kidding... I'm not sure if this is an improvement even with the addition of another 99 cent belt and it certainly isn't flattering ... I am still honing my skills. . . and please don't scrutinize my Dorito-shaped legs. They plague me daily.

And finally...Julia turned 5 months old yesterday. The weather was weirdly warm so we let her don shoes (the cutest shoes c/o Christine) sans socks and some spaghetti straps to show off her physique...(she fought the sweater for Mass but we usual)
To alleviate any fears that I chopped my hair into a bowl cut on the left...I included a shot of my rabbit tail on the right.

I hope you have a lovely day.

7 (official) Quick Takes Friday Volume 3

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18 February 2011

As always, we are vying for the most topical Quick Takes blue ribbon. I'm fairly certain we will reign victorious.

1. My most practical sewing project to date: a wine bag
to house Julia's favorite vintage (anger struck upon the realization that the cork was indeed stronger than her gums)

2. Like the rest of the United States, warmer weather has shown it's pretty face here in we took an extra long walk around the neighborhood...
and of course our little butterball thought both parents needed a job: one to hold her and one to push her giraffe in the stroller and take totally natural digital photographs
so, we did...slicked back mom bangs et al

3. Not sure here. She was bored and I don't have a creative bone in my body so we had to settle for the old bandana on a large baby head trick. 
it was obviously a real scream

4. Simon came home early yesterday so we tossed our geriatric ways aside and put on our spontaneous (albeit fitted) pants and took a little road trip to a very small town zoo. . .
Apparently, all of the animals were native to Kansas...which would probably explain the diverse petting zoo:
llama/alpaca(?), pig statue and the meanest goose in the whole world

5. (this trip deserves the affection of two takes)
 the goose with the nastiest disposition had a real bone to pick with Julia
so, so gross

6. This pacifier clip has changed our lives for the better:
hours of entertainment and no more awkward moments in public when her pacifier falls on the floor and I don't want to be judged when I stick it right back in her mouth (as my brilliant friend, Adrienne says..."immunity booster!")

7. Julia has a serious happy screaming problem...sometimes she screams at the tippy top of her lungs for over and hour and it is a little bit disconcerting. So...of course I turned to my bff+e Google to assure me that she is normal (rest assured that she is--she is merely testing her language limits). In doing so...I saw a lot of my recent and embarrassing Google searches beginning with "b"...

baby acne
baby grunts when eating
bias tape
butcher hog
book of Mormon
butt cyst (we won't get into the details of that horror story)
burning calories one mile
beat winter blues (?)
breast pumping timing
best bottle nipple to transition from breast feeding
bh contractions vs. real contractions
best movie to watch (original)
best spring marathons (weirdly optimistic with my 12 minute runs)
bianca (Simon said no to that baby name...)
bear (?)
birth story
b chord

I'm can only imagine what a fun little trip the other 25 letters would be.


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