Tuesday, June 30, 2015

'cuz the players gonna play, play, play, play, play

i don't know about where you are, but here it's been butt ass hot lately.  so gross.

luckily, my friend lilcee has a pool and has basically handed us an open invitation to come over and swim anytime.  we've already taken advantage of this offer several times since summer officially began, and it's been fantastic.


gotta love those goggles and nose clips, eh?

also, my lifeproof phone case is my most favorite thing in the whole wide world.  not only do i not worry about it when i'm using it to pull up recipes in the kitchen, but it lets me get shots like these without worrying about ruining the phone:


those swimming lessons are definitely paying off.  she's not a fast swimmer, but she's definitely better at it than her mother.

lilcee hung back in the house while we got a head start on cooling off in the pool, mostly because she was working on blowing up a giant pool float that had us giggling endlessly when she finally brought it out.  do you remember this picture of taylor swift that was posted everywhere a few weeks ago?


well...


dying.  i still can't stop laughing when i look at that, and especially right next to the original.  so awesome.

Monday, June 29, 2015

time for a photo dump!

summertime brings all sorts of silly randomness that must be shared in a roundup post now and then. right?  i mean...why not?

plus it's monday morning and i just got back from an early class at barre that has me all sleepy and stuff, so this is what you get today.  i promise to have more exciting stuff to share later on.

speaking of barre, it was fun to see this lovely lady again.  she used to teach when xtend barre first opened, but then she left us to travel the world, making movies and getting married to one of the pros on "dancing with the stars."  she had a bit of downtime during a visit to the US, and we were lucky enough to get her to teach a class or two.


have i ever told you that the bean doesn't like makeup?  she also doesn't like costumes and dolls and other typically girly stuff.  i mean, she's plenty girly as she is, just not like that.  anyway, i mention this because we had picture day for her dance recital, during which i had to do full hair and makeup and get her into her costume for her jazz dance routine.  putting makeup - particularly mascara - was like pulling freaking teeth, man.  although this selfie she took in the car was pretty amusing.


via twitter, i saw that ikea has a new bulk candy section - there's lots of gummies, sours, marshmallows, even salty licorice (which sounds gross to me, but i'm not a licorice fan).  every piece is non-HFCS, trans fats, GMOs, and all colors are natural.  so of course, when the old lady and i were racking our brains for something delicious to have for lunch, we decided to hit up ikea for some meatballs and check out the new candy section.


we had fun picking out a bunch of treats that we set aside for later as we headed upstairs for lunch.  the menu had changed a bit since our last visit, and when i asked the guy behind the counter how those veggie meatballs were, he offered to give us a sample.  and while we were at it, he threw in a chicken meatball taster, too.  i never expected to have options when it came to my meatballs.  of course, for our actual entree, we went with what we knew - the swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry sauce.


here's the veggie ball.  "it smells weird," the old lady observed.  and as we found out, it tasted about as good as it smelled.


on the flip side, that chicken ball was actually really delicious.  i may even like it more than the original.  you should give it a try next time you head out for some DIY furniture in a flat box.


so hey - remember that hollywood sign run we did a couple of weeks ago?  i'd looked at the results online, but didn't really give them a second thought until i received this in my inbox:


WUT.  even with that extra mile and the crazy hills and drizzle, i managed to actually place in a race?  okay, there were only 26 ladies in my age division.  and holy shit, "female 40-49 yrs" sounds so...OLD.  damn.  but i don't care.  i placed first?  GIMME MY MEDAL.

between that and a little poke by my friend kelley, i also somehow managed to rope myself into this:



the draw happens in july, and a little research tells me we'll know if we got in by the 8th.  along with kelley, i got lilcee and delovely details to register too.  that would be one fun girls' weekend.

summer school is coming along quite nicely for the bean.  she's having fun with her friends and keeping up her math/writing/reading skills over the long break.  in fact, she's always got a book with her and spends most of her time in the car with her nose buried deep in it.  she's managed to finish several chapter books already, and i got her started on a series i used to love when i was her age - beverly cleary's "ramona" books.  plus, there are twice-weekly field trips to all sorts of fun places from museums to a local water park, and even an angels baseball game.  look at that face - can you tell how much fun she's having?


oh - also, i just might have placed an order with amazon JUST to have something delivered in this box:


and? there's this.  how happy am i?


what's a random photo dump without some cookies?  here's a bunch of designs i've done over the last few weeks:





ah, felt good to get all of that out.  now, i think it's nap time.  heh.

Friday, June 26, 2015

who needs clubs? take me to the sewing studio

so you know, i've been working on fun little sewing projects off and on for the last few years now.  most of my sewing skills are self-taught (or, rather, internet-taught), although i did take a very basic intro to sewing class with a local seamstress when i first brought home a sewing machine.

speaking of that lady, she had such an interesting story.  she'd fallen ill and ended up having to undergo some sort of brain surgery.  when she woke up, she magically had this perfect british accent that the doctors told her could disappear one day...or it could stay with her for the rest of her life.  and she had never even left the country.  isn't that wild?  i think about her now and then and wonder if she's still speaking like she's ready to sit down for tea.

anyway, my co-leader (who's become a really good friend by now) recently started getting into sewing too.  she's done some fun little pieces of clothing for herself and her kids, and even sewed together a few costumes for one of their upcoming plays.  she's as addicted to the sewing thing as i was when i first started.  and last week, she mentioned coming across a cute little sewing studio not too far away from us.  the owner also teaches fashion design classes at a local community college, and offers basic lessons to the public out of her studio.  my CL mentioned that she was going for a second class (out of a series of 4) and invited me to join her.  or maybe i invited myself.  i don't remember.  either way, i found myself in her car the next morning on the way to the studio.



the studio itself was small, comfy, cute and well-equipped.



now, while i consider myself a fairly decent seamstress, i'm terrible at working with ready-made patterns.  i mean, i know how to, and i've done them in the past, but i've never really learned how to do it properly.  i figured it would be a good idea to have an actual lesson where i could learn to do things the right way instead of winging it like i usually do.  the last time i attempted a project with a real pattern i ended up curled up on the floor in the fetal position in my underwear (because i'd had to try on the dress i was working on and got tired of changing out of my clothes), practically in tears and slightly traumatized from the frustration of the whole damn process.

getting started on our project - a basic pencil-like skirt with a front zipper - kind of reiterated for me why i don't like pattern work.  heh.  i mean...prepping everything before you can even sit down at the sewing machine and get down to business is SUCH a pain in the ass.  like, if i could pay someone to do the prep work - tracing the pattern, cutting it out, then cutting out the fabric and any other required pieces - and just be able to do the actual sewing part...that would be phenomenal.  but i sucked it up and worked on the beginning stages like a good student.


after what seemed like forever (and with some help from my CL, the instructor and her assistant), all of the pattern pieces were finally traced and cut out.


to begin working on the waistband, i had to iron some stabilizer (interfacing, also known as pellon) onto a couple of the pieces.  the iron i got to use was a really good one - way better than the $12.99 black & decker special i have at home.


with just about ten minutes left of class time for the session, we finally got to sit down at the machines to get a little bit of stitching done.  the machines were pretty basic models, but did the job nicely.


i learned a fun new trick to take home, too - a way to keep track of my seam allowances as i sew.  i'm usually pretty terrible at maintaining the proper allowance because - well, i'm lazy and i wing it.  but i'm totally going to use this painter's tape trick from now on and hopefully all of my seams will be nice and straight.


the studio offers lessons for adults as well as for kids - which means we're totally going to bring our new brownie troop here at some point during the next year.  in the meantime, we also signed up our own daughters to take a class together and learn how to use a sewing machine - with help from the instructors and from us, too.


not to mention, they offer open sewing time.  for $10, you can come into the studio with your projects and use the equipment and the workspace to your heart's content during regular business hours.  we joked about how this was going to be our friday night turn up...like the old ladies that we are.  in fact, i'm going to see if my friend lilcee might be interested too - this is totally her kind of thing.

TURN DOWN FOR WHAT.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

best finish line EVER

oh, facebook.  always showing me all sorts of fun stuff that i never knew i wanted to do.  heh.

this time, it was something fantastic - a race called the "fat boy 5K."  major sponsors included dunkin donuts, tru moo chocolate milk, a local cold brew coffee company, big red soda, and corner bakery.  now, before you get all huffy over the seemingly inappropriate name for the run, let me tell you that their goal was to get people of all shapes and sizes up and moving.  instead of age divisions, the various divisions were titled things like "clydesdale" - for men weighing 200-220 pounds and for women weighing in between 145-170 pounds, "athena."  it sounded like a fun run, although because it was scheduled for the morning of father's day, i figured i was out this year.

except that during a weak moment, the hub suggested that he and the bean drive me down there for the race and then we could go out for a nice breakfast afterwards.  and when i told him that i'd need to get there by at least 7:30 in the morning, he still didn't waver.  so i registered for the run and was all excited for the goodies that i'd be earning at the finish line.

we looked like a cheery bunch that morning, yes?


being super early on a sunday morning, we hit zero traffic on our way down to long beach.  they dropped me off near the aquarium of the pacific, where i found packet pick-up pretty easily.




 as i hung out and waited for the race to begin, i watched as the donuts arrived.  sweeeeeet.


then it was time to line up at the start line.  after the kids run (which consisted of just a small handful of kids running a quick quarter mile), it was our turn.


the course took us along the shoreline and then through the small village area.


then we continued on the bike path near the water, towards the queen mary.


mile marker #1!


i almost took a runner out as i stretched my arm out to take this selfie.  oops.


turnaround:


the course offered a really nice view, and there was lots to look at.  it's always nice to be distracted so that i don't think about how much i'm huffing and puffing.



one mile to go!


as we headed out towards the street, there were lots of volunteers along the way who happily cheered us on.  these races are nothing without these folks, who come out even earlier than the runners to get everything set up from the packet pickup stations to the course markers to the water stations.



pretty soon, i found myself back on the path where we'd started the run.


and another selfie op.


finally, the end was in sight.


as i stomped onto the timing mats to get my time registered, i noticed the tent off to the side with the division awards inside - colorful plastic buckets filled with all sorts of fantastic snacks like ding dongs and pop tarts.  i knew i was far from placing in the top 3 of my division, but man, it would've been kind of fun to take home a bucket full of snacks.


but then i started noticing the stations provided by the sponsors - like kombucha tea (which i skipped):


delicious ice cold cartons of chocolate milk:


big red soda, doubling as promotion for the upcoming "terminator" movie.


bottles of that local cold brew coffee:


cases upon cases of fresh chocolate chip cookies from corner bakery:


and what kept most of us going throughout the 3.1-mile course - those racks of dunkin donuts.


i managed to snag an empty box to hold all of my goodies, which i found really amusing.



and then...the moment of truth.



i made my way back to the hub and the bean, waiting for me in the nearby parking lot.  i showed off all my loot:


and then we headed off to find some delicious grub for breakfast.  we found it here:


the hub went big with the breakfast burrito, a giant tortilla stuffed with eggs, beans, cheese, avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream and bacon.


the bean went with something different - meatloaf and eggs served with a potato pancake.


as for me, i opted for something that always sounds good - two country fried chicken wings served with waffle sticks and three different dipping sauces.


although we'd discussed taking the bean to explore the queen mary, which she's never seen before, by the time we were done stuffing our faces we were all ready for a nap.  and that's exactly how we spent a good chunk of the rest of the day - each napping in different parts of the house.  it was a lovely way to spend father's day, and the hub seemed pleased with the cards we gave him.

next up for him - the spartan race up in san francisco next month.  oh boy.  i think it's going to be a ton of fun, but i'm also pretty sure he's going to kill me once it's all over.  i can't wait!
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