Friday, January 17, 2020

working on her (dance) fitness

at the bean's school, junior high kids have several options for earning their PE credits each year.  they can either take a regular PE class, join one of the school's sports teams, play a sport outside of school that has regular practices and games, or be part of the show choir.  girls also have the option of taking a "dance fitness" class - which i think is stupid because there are tons of boys who like to dance and they should be able to do this too, but christian school.  sigh.

the show choir director is also the drama coach, who runs the annual junior high musical.  the bean was in show choir for the first trimester, but because cheer practices and competitions conflicted with rehearsals for the musical she ended up moving into the dance fitness class for the rest of the school year.  because a lot of her friends were in it and told her it was a lot of fun, she was totally okay with the change.  snd when she found out that the group performs at halftime during a clippers game, she was super excited.  once we got the details about the performance, the hub snagged tickets for us and the old lady and her special friend so we could see her on the floor at staples center and enjoy a fun night out in the process.

the kids got to leave school right after lunchtime to get down to staples center for a mandatory rehearsal, and booked a party bus for the excursion.  then they were to have dinner somewhere at l.a. live before returning to the venue to take their seats and wait for their performance time.  as for the rest of us, we made a pre-game dinner reservation at shaquille's and headed down together in the hub's truck.




the restaurant was full of clippers fans, relaxing and enjoying the southern-influenced menu and doing some pre-gaming at the bar.  we were seated at a table right in the middle of all the action, and checked out the menu once we were settled in.


i decided to have a cocktail, because why not?  i chose the "celebration" - prosecco, cucumber, st. germain's and fresh lemon juice.  very tasty.


the guys shared the deviled eggs for their appetizer, while the old lady and i happily slathered our black pepper biscuits with bacon jam and honey butter.



the fried chicken was the star of the show, although the hub said the jambalaya was pretty good too.


by the time we were done it was time to head across the street into staples center.



the hub had secured some really good seats for us, right behind the visiting team's bench.





i'd asked the bean where they were sitting, and when we were in our seats we looked up to see if we could find her.  she was up there in section 328:


and it was right after that when i got a text from the bean:  "did you see me perform?  they changed us from halftime to preshow."  GAH.  we'd likely missed them by mere minutes, as we sat across the street just chilling, with no idea that they'd been bumped.  we were so bummed, because after all that was the whole reason we were even there in the first place.  ugh.

luckily, i remembered that one of my mom friends was at the game as well because her daughter is in dance fitness too.  i texted her to see if she might have grabbed video of their performance and was really relieved when she said "yes."  she'd filmed the big screen and it turns out that the kids were amongst a bigger group of zumba enthusiasts who were made up of mostly much older folks.  they'd all learned the same routine and worked it on the floor all together, and i managed to catch a glimpse of the bean a couple of times throughout the video.  she's at the top right corner of the screen here:


as we sat and watched the teams warm up, i noticed that there was a lot of k-pop music being played and the old lady nudged me and said "mom...it's korean heritage night."  i knew the bean was loving hearing all of her favorite songs, especially her beloved BTS.


the national anthem was sung by a korean actress, the teams were introduced and then the game started.


it was fun to be in those seats, alternating between watching the game and the fantastic peoplewatching around us.  the clippers were playing the orlando magic, who the hub said wasn't playing too well this season and which also explained why the venue wasn't full, nor were there any celebrities to gawk at.  well, we did have one minor sighting - tracey ullman, who was seated right in front of us.


and we realized that the girls had been bumped out of their halftime slot in favor of this k-pop dude whose name i don't even remember.


the kids enjoyed a drink while he performed.


and the clippers' mascot came over to wave at us and heckle one of the servers for the section in front of us.


we hung out through the third quarter, and then we bounced outta there.  we couldn't take the bean with us because she had to ride back on the party bus with her group, not to mention her backpack was locked up in the gym and we couldn't get in there without the coach anyway.


it was an easy drive home despite the rain that had rolled in while we were inside staples center, and the hub headed back out to school to pick up the bean when they got back about an hour after we'd gotten home.  she was pretty wiped out and went straight to bed.  thank goodness they have a teacher inservice day today and she gets to sleep in, especially since the cold she's been fighting off seems to have caught a second wind amongst all of yesterday's excitement.

next up...vegas for cheer competition next week!  the fun never stops.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

the word "scrunchie" has lost all meaning

i love that scrunchies are a thing again.  although let's face it...were they ever really NOT a thing?

well, yeah, okay, i guess there was a pretty big chunk of time when it was definitely not cool to wear a scrunchie unless you were in a costume or something.  heh.  and nowadays the kids are wearing them on their wrists more than in their hair and there are different meanings and they've turned it into something all weird and possibly pearl-clutchy and blah blah blah.  whatever.

and so there are all sorts of tutorials out there to show you how to DIY your own scrunchies using fabric scraps and regular sewing elastic.  i've made a few of them, because i'm a friggin' lemming like that.  but i don't really like the stretch factor of regular elastic in scrunchies and really wanted to figure out how to use an actual hair tie instead.  there are a couple of tutorials out there, but i didn't really like the process used and figured there had to be another way.

there's a youtube video circulating amongst the facebook sewing groups that features an easy way to sew up the fabric part of the scrunchie using a technique called the "burrito roll."  i learned how to burrito roll awhile ago while making lined tank-style dresses, and it's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  and in one of those facebook pages someone mentioned that after some trial and error, they'd figured out how to combine both the hair tie and the burrito roll method to create their scrunchies.  she posted a couple of videos, but for some reason the page's admin deleted them before i had time to watch them and so i ended up having to figure it out for myself.

to be perfectly honest, i'm really posting this for myself because once i got it to work i was afraid i would forget how to do it.  heh.  i took step-by-step pictures as best as i could with my own two hands, and so if you're interested in making your own scrunchies here's my process (but make sure that you watch that video first because none of this will make sense if you don't):

these are the hair ties i like best.  they're nice and stretchy and they're made from a continuous piece of fabric so they're seamless and there isn't a spot that two ends have been glued together.  this way i know it won't ever snap apart inside the scrunchie, rendering it completely useless unless you want to pick the seam open and insert a new hair tie.


i'd found some really cute "friends" themed fabric at joann's, but most of it is cotton woven which i don't typically use for clothing.  i'm also thinking it'll make for a cute little zipper pouch, one of these days.  anyway, the piece i use for scrunchies measures 5" x 20".


with right sides facing, sew up the short end to create a loop.


here's where the burrito roll comes in - pick up the top layer of the loop and fold it together to meet in the middle.


then you pick up that middle "burrito filling" and stick your hair tie in it, like this:


now you're going to put the outer "tortilla" layer together, still with right sides facing, but you want to make sure half of your hair tie stays outside of the burrito.


see how i'm holding the tortilla together, inside the hair tie?  that's where you want to do your sewing.


take the burrito to your machine and place that section of the tortilla that's inside the hair tie under your needle.  make sure that you keep the burrito filling layer far away from the needle so that it doesn't get sewn in with the tortilla.  again - if you haven't watched that video this isn't going to make a lick of sense, so go back and watch it a couple more times if you need to!


this looks like a hot mess, but i swear it makes sense while you're doing it.  i also found that i could pull the hair tie to the other side to make it easier to sew without catching it under the needle.  anyway, you want to sew down that raw edge, pulling the burrito filling out as you go, all the way down, still making sure to keep it inside so that it also doesn't get caught under the needle.


once you get all the way down to where you started sewing, make sure to leave about an inch or so open so that you have room for turning it inside out.


this is what it'll look like when you take it off of the machine.


now you want to reach inside and grab the burrito filling and pull it out, basically turning the whole thing inside out.  you can use your fingers, but i have this fun little tool that looks like pliers that works perfectly for this sort of task.


and...voila!


you're not completely done yet though, because you want to close up that hole that you left for turning.


some people like to tuck in the raw edge and use their sewing machine to topstitch it closed, some like to hand sew it, and others will use a little dab of fabric glue to close it up.  use whatever method you like best.  and now you have fun new scrunchies with a "good" hair tie inside to hold that ponytail that won't snap if you pull it too hard!


the end.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

spending some time in the lab

a couple of weeks ago, the old lady asked me to clear my calendar for a fun outing out on the west side.  she asked me if i wanted it to be a surprise or if i wanted to know what we were doing, and because we all know how impatient i am, i chose option b.  she showed me a post from one of the makeup gurus she follows on instagram, who'd shared her visit to bite beauty's lip lab in NYC.  the best way to describe it is like build-a-bear for grown-ups - you get to create your own custom lipstick shade, have it poured and molded and you even get to name your special shade.  so fun, right?  we were both super excited to check it out.

our appointment was right at noon when the shop opened.



we were greeted by sam, who showed us to our seats at the bar, explained the process to us and asked us what kind of shades we were interested in creating.


the old lady went first, requesting a nice peachy-nude color she could wear on a daily basis.  sam pulled a couple of colors to work with and then using this chart to measure them out and mix them together.


you also get to choose your finish - matte, creamy, satin, sheer.  she added one more component to the color and then swiped it onto a disposable applicator to try it on.  while the old lady got to work on applying her first color, sam got to work on making my everyday shade.  

both of our first shades were a little lighter than we liked, and so she got to work on a second try for us.  and then our third shade was a bolder look - i'd explained to her that i've always wanted to find a red lipstick that i felt comfortable wearing, but that every shade i've tried thus far makes me feel a little clownish.  she seemed to know exactly what i was looking for and pulled out three colors to mix up for me.


i guess you can't really see the differences between the swatches here, but these are the three colors that were made for me:


the last piece of the puzzle was to choose a flavor for our lipstick.  she handed us each a box containing nine little vials of flavors - cherry, lime, coconut, vanilla, mint, fresh citrus, citrus mint, violet, and wild berry.


here's a slightly better look at our custom colors.  


while sam got to work on mixing the proper quantities of our chosen shades, we wandered around the shop.




 of course, we took advantage of the selfie station while wearing our bolder, "going out" lip colors.


once the colors had been assembled in special vials, sam placed them in what looked like a microwave to melt it down.  then she put it in this contraption, which gave it a good stir for about a minute to mix it all together.


this was the mold that she poured the finished product into:




and then she placed the mold on a cooled surface for six minutes to completely solidify.  when the time was up, she pulled off the top half of the mold and it looked like this:


and then she carefully placed the lipsticks into their cases.  here's mine:


she'd used this machine to engrave the names of our lip colors onto the lipstick lids:


here's what i named my neutral, everyday lip color.  what'd you expect?


we took one more picture together before we left:


and now we both have lipstick colors we love and will be happy to wear anytime.  the cool thing about this is that we can reorder it anytime since they keep it on file, and also gave us cards with the exact formulations of our colors by name.  and we had a lot of fun in the process!  it's a win all the way around.
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