wan-na find something?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

still doing the cookie thing

it still amazes me every time someone asks me to do cookies in a design i haven't yet tackled.  i feel like i've been doing cookies forever, but happily it's still fun for me - especially when i'm challenged with something new.

like these, for instance - favors for a red egg and ginger party for a baby boy born in the year of the horse.  google tells me that this is typically a celebration of a newborn's first month, which is something i'd not heard of before.  and thank goodness for sweet sugarbelle, because without her step-by-step tutorials i'd be completely lost.

one of my oldest friends is a girl i first met back in fourth grade.  and through the magic of facebook, we reconnected years ago and have stayed in touch since our last high school reunion.  she's a manager at a local starbucks, and hit me up for some treats for a barista competition she was overseeing.  these were really fun:

another friend recommended me to a friend of hers, who was looking for favors for her son's birthday party.  the theme was paw patrol, so here's what she got:

bridal shower cookies are always, always fun for me to do.

and then the bean's cheer coach at school, who i love for many reasons, asked me to help out with cookies for her mom's milestone birthday.

i've got even more fun-sounding cookies in the pipeline over the next few weeks, and i can't wait to see how they turn out.  wish me luck.

Monday, March 30, 2015

just another weekend

my weekend in a nutshell:

week 8 of the 60-day challenge ended with my 5th barre class that week.

to celebrate, i signed up for a free chair massage immediately afterwards.

the teen and i took her sister to see an early screening of "home," which was really cute.  with the big activity of the day done, she spent most of the rest of the afternoon literally climbing the walls.

the next morning, i supervised as she followed a recipe in one of her kids' cookbooks for "fabulous french toast sticks."  all i did was help her use one of my good knives to slice the bread and turn on the stove.  other than that, she handled the entire thing from beginning to end.  it took about three times as long to make as it would have had i done it myself, but that's okay.  she did a fine job all by herself.

i gotta say, it turned out perfectly.  those were some of the most delicious french toast sticks i've ever had.

because it's been ridiculously hot lately (and the teen had the day off), we decided to head down to the beach for a rare family outing.  it was lovely.

i'm not particularly looking forward to the hot stickiness of summer, but the idea of not rushing around in the mornings to get to school on time is rather appealing.  and it'll be here before we know it.

Friday, March 27, 2015

like a rhinestone cowgirl

so get this...today marks my 2,200th post.  can you believe that?  i've been yammering away at you guys for almost a full decade - this november will mark this blog's 10th anniversary.  holy crap, that's just nuts.  i've written about all sorts of crap from being pregnant with the bean to the teen's 6th grade and then 8th grade promotions, milestones galore, wan-niversaries, cooking, sewing, vacations, a few heavy topics, everyday life.  sometimes when i'm truly bored, i'll go back and look at some of my oldest posts and crack up at how bad they were.  or marvel at how much my girls have changed over the years.  i'm constantly going back into the archives to find a recipe, or a photo, or even to remember a specific detail about something we may have done or somewhere we've gone.  this blog has been through so much of our lives, and i'm so glad i've kept it up all this time.

anyway, at this particular moment in time my life is all about rhinestones.  haha!  but really - i opened my fat mouth and suggested that we do troop t-shirts that the girls can wear to our upcoming outings. my co-leader and i had been drooling over the blinged-out tops that we'd seen others wearing, although after pricing out customized rhinestone iron-on transfers on eBay and etsy, i decided to do a little research.  when i turned to my friend pinterest, i found that i already had a very valuable tool for creating such things right on my desk.  turns out that the software for my nifty die-cutting machine has a rhinestone template-making feature built right into it.  with the rhinestone starter kit that i found on amazon for half price and bulk hotfix rhinestones heavily discounted on eBay, i was all set.  we found supersoft cotton tees at wholesale prices in the prettiest light blue, and i got to work once all of the supplies i'd ordered were delivered.

first step:  create the template.

once i finally had it the way i wanted it, i took a deep breath and fed one of my precious few template sheets into the machine.

as is typical of me, i still managed to screw it up.  after spending a few minutes trying to fix it and save the template, i gave up, tossed it into the trash and started over again.  this time, i slowed down a little, got it right, and placed the rhinestones correctly into the little holes.  look, so pretty:

the next step involves taking a piece of transfer tape and carefully placing it on top, pressing down to catch all of the rhinestones in place.  and of course, i dropped the sheet of tape and didn't catch it before it hit the template.  ooh, i was so pissed.

on the next try, i was successful at last.  i fired up my iron, pressed one of the t-shirts, and centered the transfer onto the front.

i ironed it down using a pillowcase as a presscloth, waited a minute to let the shirt cool down, took a deep breath, and peeled the tape off.

one down, 15 more to go.  i've already run out of rhinestones and transfer tape and placed an order for more.  luckily, both vendors are in southern california and i should receive it all by monday.  good thing too, because i need to finish these bad boys by thursday next week.

wish me luck and say a prayer for my sanity.  thanks.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

gettin' medieval all up in here

in our quest to find an end-of-the-year outing to celebrate our first year of daisy scouts, one of my co-leaders and i came across a listing of local places that offer discounts or fun patches.  there's all sorts of fun stuff on there, like museums, amusement parks, and various activities.

one of the things on the list is medieval times.  i've only ever been there once, and that was a really long time ago.  perhaps it's time to return for another royal feast and jousting tournament.  yeah, maybe it's kinda cheesy and silly, but isn't that perfect for a group of 7-year-olds?  and check it out - they're even offering a sweet special.  if you use code BOGORB at their website, you'll score a buy one/get one free deal on full-priced admission.  the code is good through may 3rd, which is perfect for a spring break outing.

no need to thank me.  i'm here to help, you know.  come back and let me know if you go!

first grade fun

it's so hard to believe that the end of this school year is coming hard and fast.  by the time spring break ends, there'll only be about six-ish weeks of school left and then it's bye bye, first grade.  this is just all happening too fast for me.

last night was open house at school.  the bean has been barring me from entering the classroom for the last couple of weeks as they've been gearing up for the event, so i was excited to check it out.  and it was great timing too, with MIL in town this week after a recent trip to china.  the bean was bursting with pride as she showed her beloved grandma and her daddy around.  i guess that since i'm in her classroom fairly often, she figured i could handle a self-guided tour.  heh.

there was a lot of really great stuff on display, showing off what they've been learning about lately.  a fun guessing game created by the kids was on the door, and even if i hadn't immediately recognized her handwriting, the first clue was a dead giveaway that it was my kid.

this picture just cracks me up.

and it was used again for this handout:

they've been learning about the amazon rainforest and animals over the last few weeks.

some basic information about 'murrica:

a fun art project during which they learned what a perimeter is.

i always love reading her writing and looking at the art she creates.

of course, a quick photo with her teacher:

then we cruised through the two second grade classrooms to get a sneak peek at what we could expect for next year.  and it turns out that the teacher in the room we liked best is expecting a baby, which means that a sub will be teaching her class for the first half of the year.  i know that she'll be in good hands in either of the classrooms though, so ultimately i'm not all that worried.

holy crap.  she's gonna be a second grader in less than two months.  MAH BAY-BEH.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

a little time with daddy

one of the local girl scout troops hosted a father-daughter dance last weekend, and from what the hub tells me, it was epic.

i, of course, left it till the very last minute to find something for the bean to wear.  we made a few stops that morning looking for something pretty and frilly and extra special, and found it at target, of all places.  it was from the "cinderella" line, with silver sequins at the top and a silver sequin "glass slipper" appliqué near the hem.  to be perfectly honest, i wasn't a huge fan of what she picked out (mainly due to the "CINDERELLA" printed under the slipper. hello, walking advertisement), but after awhile i came to my senses and realized that i had to make like elsa and let it go.  and really, the dress looked cute on her, she was beaming in it, and that's all that matters, right?

not to mention, you can't really see the offending ad anyway, unless you look really closely.

i was surprised that she even let me bust out the curling iron to prettify the ends of her hair:

extreme closeup!

i love this picture.  the looks on both of their faces are priceless.

since i wasn't there to snap, snap, snap away at every little thing, i didn't get much in the way of photographic evidence to share.  the dance was at a local church, and was so popular that they'd had to turn away registrations.  the organizers vowed to find a larger venue for next year's event.

after dinner, they headed to the photo booth for some fun.  she took pictures with both her daddy and her crew from her own troop.

when the dancing started, he tells me that she marched right up to the DJ and requested specific songs...and then proceeded to lead everyone in a train around the dance floor.  apparently, he was also rather entertained at the room full of 6-10 year-olds singing along with gusto to bruno mars' "uptown funk."

i've already volunteered to help organize next year's dance.  it'll be fantastic.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

kickin' it, korean-style

so we've been doing the girl scouts thing for about five months now, and we've kind of gotten the hang of how to run our meetings, learned our girls' personalities, and earned some badges.  we survived our first cookie season and are gearing up to do some fun outings with the girls over the next few weeks.  to switch things up a little, my co-leader managed to sweet-talk a local martial arts studio to come to one of our meetings and give the girls a fun little lesson in beginning tae kwon do.

even better?  the twin brothers who own the studio graciously offered the lesson for free.  not to mention, it totally fell in line with the badge we were working on - "courageous and strong."  perfect, right?

when the guys arrived, they wasted no time in getting the girls lined up, introducing themselves and learning the girls' names.

they started with some warm-ups - first, jumping jacks.

and then the first of two proud mama wan moments came when she was one of only two who knew how to demonstrate a push-up:

the second came when she happily showed everyone how to do a burpee.  that's my girl, yo!

i don't even know what they were telling the girls that made her make this face.

the time went by all too fast, and before we knew it they were wrapping it up with a quick demo of some basic kicks and punches.

of course, there were group pics.

if you couldn't tell from the expression on her face in most of those photos, the bean absolutely loved the lesson and is now begging me to sign her up for regular sessions.  you know, during all that free time she has between jazz, art, piano, hula, girl scouts, and gymnastics.  AND she wants to start going back to golf lessons too.  good gracious, child.  and yet i've been after her to try martial arts of some sort for ages.

ack.  looks like this may be the summer of tae kwon do.  just watch.  it's totally gonna happen.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...