Friday, November 15, 2019

the calm before the storm

it's been a week, guys.  nothing particularly extra to report, and just kind of working through my emotions over yet another school shooting.  it's all just so much to process, and my heart goes out to the entire community of santa clarita.

on a happier note, the bean made the principal's list for her first trimester of junior high.  she earned straight As (and mostly A+ at that) despite juggling cheer, 4x/week sessions at mathnasium, girl scouts, weekly bible study and her mother's constant nagging.  i was a little annoyed that the school didn't notify me that she was receiving this during the awards assembly, and when another parent complained on their facebook page their response pretty much boiled down to "the assembly has been on the calendar and you got their report card so you should have known."

well, i did see the report card.  and i did know there was an awards assembly.  but we're new to the junior high thing and every other year they've always sent out an email to let us know that our kid was going to get an award so that we could plan to be there if we were able.  oh well.  the award doesn't mean any less without me there to see her accept it.

the hub and i have made it a new tradition to take her to school together on friday mornings, packing the dogs up into the truck and heading to school for drop-off.  we pull in, she hops out, the dogs cry for a few minutes over her absence and then we head to the starbucks drive thru for some caffeine.  it makes for a nice way to kick off the weekend.

speaking of the dogs, they decided to create themselves a nice new doggy door when they busted right through the screen door in our bedroom.  d-oh!

the bean has her cheer showcase this weekend, an extra couple of hours of practice and then their first competition next weekend.  the competition season is upon us, which means we're going to be pretty busy almost every weekend from now through march.

give me strength.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

yet another santa sighting

a couple of weeks ago, my buddy lilcee alerted me to a fun freebie sponsored by lifetime - yes, the home of cheesy ass romance and holiday movies.  to celebrate the kickoff of the holiday season, they were giving away free portrait packages with santa at local malls, and you know how i love me some free stuff.  she'd found it pretty early, so we still had our pick of most dates and times.  i figured it'd probably be good to go on a weekday to hopefully avoid crowds, and scheduled ours for the bean's next day off from school...which ended up being on veteran's day.

the closest location for the promo was in glendale at the galleria, and so we hopped in the car and headed out to check in for our 11:30 appointment time.  and just as i'd hoped, there were just a couple of groups in front of us in line.

as we waited, i teased the girls about how i was going to stand behind the photographer and make noises and silly faces to get them to smile like i used to when they were little.  they were...not super amused.  and then when it was our turn, they headed over and sat down on either side of santa - who, let's just say, seemed a little less than excited to be there.  he wasn't exactly jolly, he didn't really talk to the girls and i just reminded myself that you get what you pay for.  and that we could still see santa when we finally get to disneyland for more holiday fun.

the free package included a bunch of prints that i don't know what i'll do with, plus the free digital download which is really all i was after anyway.  and after we walked around the mall for a bit, we headed outside and crossed over to the americana to find a snack and do some more browsing.  we tried to grab something to drink at coffee bean, but ended up walking out empty-handed since the folks in front of us wanted to inquire about the details of every single drink on the menu.  ugh.  instead, we headed to the laduree kiosk and picked out macarons to nibble on.

what we were really in the mood for was afternoon tea.  and while we couldn't get into chado tea room in pasadena, which is our usual go-to, we were able to get a table just across the seat at tea rose garden.

while this isn't our top pick for tea, we were happy to be able to find somewhere with last minute availability.  and everything was tasty and filling, so we weren't complaining.  the old lady and i both got the "rose" tea, which included a salad plus finger sandwiches, a scone, dessert bites and our choice of tea.

the bean wasn't super excited about the sandwich options, so she went for the children's version instead and had strawberry nutella sandwiches with a chocolate chip scone, a tiny cream puff, a fruit cup and her own pot of tea.

it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.  none of us could remember the last time the three of us had gone to tea together, so maybe i'll look around for another spot to take them sometime during the holidays.  maybe even disneyland hotel.  hmmmmmm.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

santa! i know him!

the old lady and i took stevie to the vet last week for a vaccination, and while we were there the front desk manager saw me there and said "oh!  great, you saved us a phone call, because we're doing pictures with santa and you're invited to join us if you'd like!"

you don't have to ask me twice.

and so on sunday afternoon we put all three dogs in the car and headed over to introduce them to santa.  we'd chosen the earliest time slot available, so we were able to walk right in.  it was pretty comical, but they managed to catch them looking at the camera:

poor stevie was a little sketched out though, and refused to go near santa unless the old lady went with him.  she was less than thrilled since she hadn't been prepared to take a picture and she's probably going to kill me for posting this, but come cute!

when we sent that to her special friend he cracked up and said "stevie looks so scared, but she is SO HAPPY."  funny 'cuz it's true!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas...

so, yeah...

haha, i just realized there's a valentine bear in the background there.

anyway, yes - i've decided that the best thing to do is to fully embrace the holidays as early as (somewhat) socially acceptable this year.  and i know, thanksgiving comes first...that's a fall tablecloth in that same photo!  the season comes and goes so quickly, and both the old lady and the hub are all over the idea of starting to decorate for our most favorite time of the year right NOW.

so i'm going to stop resisting and just do it.  because there's no real reason not to.

plus, starbucks brought out the holiday drinks today!  i stopped on my way home from barre to grab my first caramel brûlée latte and this year's freebie reusable cup.

not to mention, i already had my first winter dream tea latte from coffee bean last year.  and tomorrow, the holiday celebration at disneyland officially kicks off too.  the tree is already up and the castle has "snow" on it.  AND the christmas music is going to start tomorrow on KOST.  yesssssssss.

it's totally happening, people.  come on.  embrace it right along with me!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

back in the saddle again

it seemed like i hadn't touched any of my machines in forever - probably because i hadn't sewn anything up in a few weeks.  i have a giant stash of fabric and an endless supply of fun patterns to sew up, so i don't really have any excuses.  and a lot of that fabric is sweater knit and other cooler weather material, so now's a great time for me to dive back into my favorite hobby.

what actually brought me back to the sewing room was the need to make something for the bean to wear for her school's annual fund gala.  she chose show choir for one of her electives (glee 4 lyfe, people!), and they're always a big part of the entertainment during that evening of fundraising.  the choir director had requested that everyone wear jewel tones, which is a nice departure from the all-black attire that she'd worn for choir performances over the last few years.

i'd been holding onto a pattern for a dress i'd thought was really cute for quite a long time, and i thought that maybe if i chose a stretch velvet to work with, it would be perfect for the occasion.  it was a relatively easy project even though it involved sewing in a collar, which isn't something i'm very experienced in.  it came together quickly, but when i looked at the finished product i knew immediately that i didn't love it.

i still think it's a cute pattern in general, but the velvet is just too thick and heavy for it.  it doesn't look right, and didn't fit her right when i had her try it on.  kind of a bummer, but i'll put it in the "donate" pile and hopefully someone will like it enough to wear it.  gah!

and then it turned out that the bean didn't particularly like the design of the dress anyway.  i have to remember that she's not the little girl who i can just dress however i want to anymore.  and so i asked her to give me some ideas of what she was comfortable wearing.  at first she asked for a maxi dress, but after she showed me the choreography for the songs they're performing i talked her into going a little shorter so she wouldn't trip on the fabric at her feet.  she said she liked ruffly sleeves and a simple neckline, and then i realized that what she was describing was pretty much the same dress i'd made for her to wear to cheer "prom" this past spring.

so i headed to joann's, found some more stretch velvet that was lighter weight and closer to the color she wanted to wear, and busted this out in one afternoon:

because the choir director asked for pictures of what everyone was planning to wear, i sent that one to her for her approval.  she responded pretty quickly, adding "do you do costumes too?"  uh-oh.  heh.

today is "decade day" at her school, so the kids got a free dress day as long as they wore a themed outfit.  last year she went 90s grunge with a nirvana tee, flannel shirt, jeans and docs and this year she requested a poodle skirt.  i put my embroidery machine to work and sent her to school like this:

you can't see it, but i made her a matching hair tie, too.

speaking of dressing up, last night's cheer practice was "tourist" themed.  after going through a pile of t-shirts and pulling out a fanny pack and finding an old disposable camera, she went dressed as a disneyland tourist.

while i was at it, i decided to make myself a new top using some of the super soft waffle knit i bought for the season.  i made myself a cardigan out of some mustard waffle knit last week, but somehow i haven't managed to snap a picture of it yet.  the hub called it my "mr. rogers" sweater when he saw it, but i was super proud of myself when i told him i'd made it and he said he thought it'd come out of a stitch fix box.  anyway, this top is super comfy and got me over my fear of sewing buttons (which, as it turns out, is incredibly quick and easy on my sewing machine).

i'm on a roll again, people!  now i want to sew up ALL THE THINGS.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

going back for more lasa

so after going to lasa a few weeks ago with my friends, one of my cousins responded to my post on instagram.  i mentioned that we should go together, and so we picked a date with a couple of our other cousins to have brunch.  the bean was just as excited to go back, especially once she found out who we were going with.  she and my cousin's kids hadn't had much of a chance to hang out lately, so this was going to be a treat for everyone.

this time, i decided to try their iced coffee.  it came with a little pitcher of simple syrup and another of coconut cream, which made for a pretty delightful tasting shot of caffeine.

the girls were super excited to sit together and compare apps and pictures and things on their phones.

like last time, we decided to order one of everything on the menu to pass around the table.  it worked out just as well, and i was happy that everyone loved it as much as i did.  i didn't take pictures of everything this time, but i couldn't resist this shot of the crispy pata, just before my cousin dug in and carved it up for everyone.

and unlike last time, we ordered a couple of bowls of their condensed milk ice cream topped with black sesame polvoron.  it was rich and creamy and delicious.

our server was happy to take a group shot of us (which we probably should have done while all of the food was on the table so that it would have been a little more exciting, but whatever).

we asked to see their dinner menu just for kicks, and after reading up on the delicious-sounding dishes available we decided that we'd have to pick another date and go back to try them all.  it was so much fun to hang out and catch up with everyone, and it made me realize that we really should make more of an effort to get together more often.

don't worry, i'll be sure to take lots more pictures next time.  heh.

Friday, November 1, 2019

i've become *that* dog mom

i just looked at my camera roll and found an asston of dog pictures.  i take them of all three dogs, although teddy and stevie seem to be a little more photogenic than cocoa.  i mean...look at these faces!

cocoa - well...she's adorable, but she just doesn't photograph as well.  sorry, kid.

most of the time i'm capturing their antics to share with the hub, or the old lady and her special friend.  here the kids were waiting anxiously for their friend stevie to join them:

teddy seems to have cleared a path underneath our bed that's perfect for him to run through when cocoa's chasing him through the house.  it's cool and all, but i clearly need to find a new spot for my collection of tieks because if i ever catch him chewing on those...

and here i busted him after he'd figured out how he could get around the fence and climb up onto the wall.  sheesh.  note the look of shame on his face.  he knows his ass isn't supposed to be up there.

this spot on the couch is a popular one.  they're always fighting over who gets to lay here.

whenever teddy's trying to escape the others, he just hops into the pool because he knows neither of them will go after him in there.  he's our only water dog, it seems.

and then he climbs up into one of the chairs and passes out from all that water play.

he and stevie are besties.  they love to play together, and it's awesome because they wear each other out and sleep hard through the night.

 we were cracking up at this one because of the look on his face.

he's just so darn cute.

i caught him mid-yawn one morning;

it's so hard to believe there are only a couple of months between these two pictures.

we finally start a training class at petsmart on monday, and i'm excited to get started.  they're ridiculously cute and so much fun to have around, but i want to make sure we do it right this time and teach them things like how to follow basic commands and how to walk on a leash and stuff like that.  the old lady is taking stevie and the bean and i will take the puppies, and it'll be a fun group outing.

wish us luck!  we're gonna need it.

Thursday, October 31, 2019


so we tried a second time to see if we could get teddy accustomed to the halloween costume we'd bought him. 

i don't think it worked.

cocoa came over to sympathize.

next, we tried putting cocoa into her little ewok costume.  she was quite a bit more accepting than teddy was.

she balked a little at the hood, but didn't really fight it.

and after awhile, they both just gave up and laid down until we put them out of their misery and took the costumes off.

the rest of us celebrated halloween in different ways with a couple of different circles of friends last weekend.  first, with her school BFFs and their little sisters at a local party:

and then with dailygluttony, lilcee and their minis at disneyland.

tonight, we'll head out with our school BFFs for trick-or-treating again like we've done the last few years.  she originally hadn't been very interested in any halloween festivities, but i think the thought of getting to hang out with her buddies on a school night proved to be pretty appealing.

happy halloween!  have fun and be safe!
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