managing

Keeping up with a household budget is no joke. I think online bill pay and auto debit things are so helpful, but if you don’t keep your eye on the ball all the time, it’s too easy to make a mistake. So far so good for us, but it’s like there are too many variables that are just out of eyesight. I like to keep a regular old notebook to track things. In fact, I keep notebooks to track everything – bills, appointments, auto insurance quotes, you name it. The more high tech things are, the more complacent we can get. Anyway, I’m working on keeping in everything in order. Every once in a while, my husband tries to hep and upsets the balance, but mostly, I’ve got a handle on it.

my enduring struggle

When I was 20, I could lose weight like nothing. I could run or dance or bike for a few weeks and see a difference. Now, I could run for 6 months and not see much of a difference. I’ve considered things like hydroxycut or hoodia, but since we’re not done having babies, I don’t think that’s any good. Plus, that kind of thing is really no solution, although I’d love to speed things along. I really just have to find an activity that’s possible with a kid who hates the daycare at the gym, hates riding in a stroller, and refuses to peddle his tricycle. He does like Tae Bo, that may have to be our solution. So Billy Blanks – what can we do about my big booty?!

oh, blog, how I’ve missed you

Man, it’s been a whirlwind around here. My job has been a little busier than normal, my guild has been requiring a lot of time, by the time I have a minute to blog, I just don’t want to look at the computer. So anyway, I thought I’d give you the low down on my concert real quick, and then jump to today.

Instead of going on and on about the great harmonies, the awesome musicianship, the surprises, I think I’ll just use a youtube video to show you the awesomeness. This is from a different show, but it’s a great recording of my favorite song they sang, Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice.”

There are tons of great Indigo Girl videos on You Tube. So, if you’re a fan of good singer/songwriters that can play a mean guitar/banjo/mandolin/piano/harmonica, check them out.

Okay, enough of that. I’ve been reading quite a few Harlequin Sillhouete Romantic Suspense novels. Mostly June and July 08 books. I couldn’t tell you the titles or authors. None have been so remarkable that I remember those things, but they’ve all been pretty good. No stinkers in the bunch.

I got a big bunch of fabric this weekend. Starry Night Hollow Quilt Shop in Encinitas had a good sale this weekend. I’ll post some pics later today. I also finished all the blocks for a new quilt – Denyse Schmidt’s Snake Charmer pattern. I’m using Moda’s Peas & Carrots. Its coming out pretty nice. Not sure how I’m going to quilt it yet. I like that Denyse tied it in the pattern.

Camp Rock

Well, I just finished watching the “world premiere” of Camp Rock on the Disney Channel. Pretty good – not High School Musical (one, not two), but good. My favorite part about these movies are the following:

  1. New interest in singing and dancing. Who ever thought that musicals would be cool again? I’ve been waiting for this day!
  2. Awesome hip hop dancers and poppers. By far the best part of the movie.
  3. Funny scenes that are basically duplicates of movies that I love. I like going “oh, this is the scene from Grease” or “this is the scene from Dirty Dancing.” That’s right, “nobody puts Baby in a corner” and “I carried a watermelon” scenes might not be word for word, but they’re there if you know what you’re looking for!

Sadly, I think I may be getting too old to really appreciate these new movies. They seem so lame in some parts. I guess the high school romantic comedies are more my thing. What’s wierd is that the movie had some great dancing, and then Mitchie (Demi Lovato) moves like a crazy person when she sings at the end. Totally awkward – like Brooke White dancing on American Idol.

I love that at the bottom of the webpage on disney.com, it says “Camp Rock is not a real camp, it’s a new movie!” Give it time, Disney, give it time.

Anyway, I saved it on the Tivo for when my 10 year old niece comes to visit. She’s going to love it.

my San Diego adventure, pt. 1

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going on my own little quilt shop hop around San Diego. This was on the way to seeing the Indigo Girls at Humphrey’s By the Bay! Let me just say that my husband is awesome. He leftquilter's cottage work early so that I could have the whole day. I made it to three shops, and then had a couple hours between when the shops closed and when the concert started, so I had a nice dinner at Chipotle (my most favorite place to eat), reading a good book (A Piece of Normal by Sandi Kahn Shelton), and I had plenty of time to get to the show.

My first shop was Quilter’s Cottage in Fallbrook. I LOVE this store. They have expanded and they are chocked full of all kinds of great fabric. Best thing about this stop? It happens to be their big annual sale – at least 25% off everything! I got to say hello to the shop cats, and had a ball chatting with the ladies. The store is divided into great little sections – a baby room, a chabby chic room, a batiks and asians room, tons of patterns, lots of brand new fabric, great samples all over the store. I could spend hours in there.

My second stop was a shop that’s been around for a long time but was new to me – Bits and Pieces inbits and pieces bathroom quilt Escondido. What a great shop! Tons of fabric, lots of unique patterns (Mount Redoubt? I’ve never seen those patterns before, but they are really lovely), and they seemed to specialize in embroidery machine stuff – software, threads, etc. I also spied a huge classroom. I got some super cute Alexander Henry fabric there – I think it’s been out for a while, but I’d never seen it before. This cool 3D quilt was hanging in the bathroom. It was beautiful. The best part about that shop was that the lady there (I never got her name) told me how to shir (or smock) and pointed out the elastic that I needed! I got two spools of white elastic. Look forward to a shirred shirt coming soon.

I also went to Amidon Quiltworks in Poway. I didn’t take any pictures in there because I knew from past visits that they’re not crazy about photos of their gorgeous (and trademarked) appliqué quilts. I got a few pieces of fun Western fabrics for dad projects, and eyed a nice book called Home Sweet Home, but I figured I could get it cheaper on Amazon. (Sorry, Amidon!)

I’ll save my concert review for the next post!

baby treasure

My mother-in-law is moving to the states from Paris this summer. I’m super excited for her new U.S.deux par deux on moppetfrocks.com adventure to start, but I’m really sad that William won’t be getting any cute Paris clothes from her anymore. Luckily, he’s still got a few things to grow into, including the best little preppy coat – a sweet little brown canvas pea coat. She really gets the best stuff, and it’s always stuff that we’d never see here.

kate mack butterfly dressI did find a website recently with some really cute stuff – children’s boutique clothing on MoppetFrocks.com. The Kate Mack stuff actually makes me want to have a girl, even though I never thought that would be the case! Look at this butterfly dress…it’s like the perfect little baby fairy princess dress!

I’m definitely more of an Old Navy and Target kind of girl. That’s why I really appreciated the French clothes from my mother in law – it was stuff I would never have the good taste to find on my own. But sites like moppetfrocks are good because I can get children’s boutique clothes without changing out of my Target pajamas.

Of course, as usual, there is way more stuff for girls than boys. Like that super cute denim dress. But it’s fun to look!

messes

When we rented our house, it had brand new carpet. So new, that it took weeks of vaccumming to get all the “new, inexpensive” carpet fiber off the floor and out of the Dyson. By the time the fibers were gone, we’d covered the carpet in stains. Five cats and a 2 year old will do that. So, I’ve been going back and forth about how to go about carpet cleaning.

First, I sprinkled the stuff that came with the Dyson all over the spots. It’s called absorb or something, basically its just like Resolve’s wet powder stuff. It took a lot of time – sprinkling, rubbing, waiting, vaccuuming. It did look better, but not all that much. I could just go rent the shampooer at WalMart, but that seems like a huge pain. (Did I mention how lazy I am? I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now.) I could get one of those services like Dry Chem or whatever to come, but that sounds like we’ll be kicked out all day and it could possibly be bad for my cats and my kid.

Anyone have a service or product that they recommend? I’d prefer something I could do myself. By the way, I would not recommend the Dyson Animal to anyone. It works fine, but not astoundingly – which, for it’s price, I expected to be more impressed.

Sew Much Comfort

sewmuchcomfort.orgThere are a ton of reputable, worthwhile organizations out there helping wounded service men and women and their families, but I’m especially excited about this one. Sew Much Comfort reconfigures regular clothes for the wounded. Creating side openings with velcro on shirts or boxers, widening pant legs to accomodate casts, etc. This is something I have the skill to do! So I signed up for a seamstress packet. They’ll send me a project, and I send it back for a (probably much needed) quality check. Hopefully, I’ll do a good job and be able to help on a regular basis.

I’m posting this here because I know there are quite a few sewers that frequent my little blog. But if you don’t sew, they also accept all kinds of contributions – everything from money to clothes to fabric.

However you decide to help, just help. The media and the Bush administration may go on and on about decreases in numbers of casualties, but the numbers of wounded have never been properly accounted for or reported. Conservative estimates are around the 30,000 mark.

If guys like Marine Corps Master Seargeant William Gibson will GO BACK after losing a leg, I think I can alter a few t-shirts and boxers for the ones who aren’t back in cammies just yet.

excited

Here are some things I’m excited about:

  • On TV: Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D List, Flipping Out, So You Think You Can Dance and all the shows starting in July.
  • My new Nikon S550 camera!!!
  • My newly organized desk drawer and my new gel roller bic pens.
  • My increase in hours for my job.
  • The new authors I’ve been enjoying: Sherryl Woods and Robyn Carr. And speaking of books, Jennifer Weiner’s newest book “Certain Girls” – which was AWESOME.
  • Finding SuperBuzzy.com, an awesome Japanese fabric shop online.

I think that’s it for now :)

bring on the cards!

I’m so excited for our Vegas trip! No word yet on if my husband’s boss’ family is going to go with us. I still have high hopes, because of his high-roller status. I want to be part of the entourage. Plus, since I’ve never been, it would be cool to go with someone that knows their way around. Definite stops will include as many lobbies of las vegas hotels as possible. With as little outside walking as possible. I’m not sure how this will all work out, but I have a feeling it will be hotter than heck, and I’m not interested in that part of the strip.