Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Um yeah, so, do you think buying a huge homemade caramel apple in front of my three-year-old's face, saving said caramel apple for two days, driving said caramel apple home over 700 miles, and then eating said caramel apple for lunch while my three-year-old is out of the house and cannot beg me for a piece and thus I don't have to share, um yeah, do you think that will hurt my chances of winning "Mother of the Year"?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

(And if the caramel apple in question gives me a tummy ache later in the day from my gluttonous idea that a caramel apple all by itself makes a very nutricious and delicious lunch for a 31-year-old, well, I'm just not going to tell you about it.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a bird, i'ts a plane, no, it's....

...the web's greatest tutorial ever for a reversible superhero cape! Thank you, thank you, thank you to Puking Pastilles for the seriously best tutorial!

This, my friends, is one of the reasons I have been too busy to post. I made the first one for my nephew's birthday (turning 4), one for my son, and one for another 4-year-old's birthday. And I will be making many, many more of these in the future as they are AWESOME. My son loves his beyond words and wears it everywhere. I modified it a little bit by making the opening around the head wider, the cape a tad longer and wider as well, and adding an extra row of velcro to make it fit tighter for now (as to avoid the 1980's off-the-shoulder look that my son was sporting at first) and still open up wider to accomodate the little superheroes as they grow. I also made the bottom of mine with straight corners instead of rounding them, since this is the style my son's Superman figure sports.

What better idea, a reversible superhero cape, for a little boy who changes his mind every two seconds on who he wants to pretend to be?

(Oh, and if you are my friend and your child is around the same age as mine, you can bet your bottom dollar what your kid will be receiving for his or her next birthday. And yes, I said her, since there is a girl version as well.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shame, shame, I know your name


Has it really been a week since I posted? And did someone push the fast-forward button on my life? This past week has been one of those weeks that seem to fly by at warp-speed, but nobody let me know about it in advance, of course. I could sum it all up for you real fast -- laundry, cooking, cleaning, accompanying (ballet, that is), a hilarious bridal shower, going to the ballet (beautiful and hilarious -- I'll share more later), attending a 5-year-old's birthday party, jumping in a Jupiter Jump (you're never too old for this), nursery duty at church with 7-9 screaming babies, a big change for my husband and I at church, handwriting a zillion notecards, sewing, sewing, and more sewing, some convertible driving, oh, and a little bit of sleeping somewhere in there, too.

So just give me a little bit of time to do some catch-up -- find my new rhythm to keep up with this new pace of life, catch my breath -- and I promise to be back before you know it, posting (with lots of pictures) like a madwoman.

Back in a flash...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blue skies smiling at me...

(Now I totally have that song in my head, just from typing it in as the title...)

This awesome tote bag is on its way to my house:

Now, if any of you out there are Obama fans, please don't be a hater. We can all be adults and agree to disagree if that is the case (cough, cough, my choice is the right choice, cough, cough). Before Governor Palin came along, I had given up hope on this election. I wanted to barf any time either of the candidates were on TV promising this, that, and the other, and I was secretly plotting my relocation to Canada. But then Palin came along and made it all exciting again! And this rockin' tote bag will be the perfect way for me to show my support. And carry my lipstick in. Haha. Get it? (Oh, and I found it via etsy, of course, the only place to find the coolest items.)

And another package is on its way to my house as well (the costume, not the little boy in the picture, because if another toddler boy arrived on my doorstep, I'd have to politely decline and say that we're all full up with toddler boys here):

I actually found it today at a costume store, but it was missing the hat. When I returned home I thought I'd better go ahead and order it online, and when I first searched for it, several places were already sold out! I finally found it available and ordered it right away. Whew. I cannot wait to take pictures of my handsome lad in it, and for him to show all his friends at the post office his outfit. They will be tickled pink!

It's time for a little bragging...

My boy, the darling one whom I often describe as being a bit on the mischievous side lately, blew me out of the water today with his sweet spirit. Not only was he a very good boy today at school (for the second day in a row), but after school he had to go get his flu shot at the pediatrician's office. I didn't forewarn him what we were doing there, but, of course, he figured it out once we were back in the room where he saw the nurse pull out the needle. His first concern was if he would have to take his shoes off (definitely not high on his list of favorite things to do in life), but sweet relief washed over him once he was assured they could stay on his feet. Then the shot came and went in his leg, quicker than a flash, and my brave sweet boy never cried. He almost did, but the promise of a red sucker immediately afterwards swayed him towards a smile instead of tears. He asked why he got a shot, and when I told him it was medicine to keep him from getting really sick, he smiled at me and told me he was a "beeeeg brayse (big brave) boy." Yes, indeed. So right now we are skipping the nap and going straight to a treat of "Toy Story 2" in the DVD player.

Today's thing to be thankful for:

unbelievably gorgeous sunshiney weather, which is even supposed to be continuing all the way into next week. We're talking bright blue skies, highs in the upper 70's and low 80's, and lows in the 50's! Perfect for putting the top down on the convertible every day (the boy LOVES it) and for taking long walks at night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two little things

Complaint o' the day:

Why, oh why, does Anthropologie not mail me my monthly catalogs? I have signed up online numerous times. I have called a couple of times. And yet the only catalogs I ever receive in the mail are in my shipping boxes, stowed away underneath whatever item I have ordered online. Believe me, I am a good customer. And being that there is no Anthropologie in Wonderland, you'd think they would make sure and send me my monthly catalog.

Thanksgiving bit o' the day:

Today I am thankful for caramel apples. With nuts. From the grocery store in the clear plastic packaging. Not quite as good as those from the orchards in Minnesota, but until our annual pilgrimage (coming up soon), it will have to do. Ah, fall is here.

And thank the good Lord above that my boy had his first absolutely-sweet-as-pie-good-as-gold day. No spitting. No ugliness when the teacher asked him to do something or stop doing something. No biting. Just being good. All day. Happy Mama. And equally happy teacher.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Snippets of my day

Someone needs to give me a head-check to see if my brain is screwed in tight enough. Today at the library I checked out some movies for my son. When I got home I realized that the bigger-sized box was not, in fact, a "DVD boxed set" like I must have thought it felt like, but a VHS tape. It never occurred to me while holding it that it was a different size and shape than the other DVD's. Excuse me while I go stock up on some Geritol.

I've got to cut the afternoon sugar out of my diet (and no, for all of you with your minds in the gutter, "afternoon sugar" simply means that). I keep getting these mid-afternoon cravings for chocolate, and it never fails, usually about 15 minutes after consumption, I have a headache and am very sleepy. If only getting sleepy was a side effect of sugar on my three-year-old...

The nights are getting cooler in Wonderland, which is a sure sign fall is on its way. I love taking our nightly walks with the temperatures in the 60's (and even 50's), and tonight we could smell a couple of fires burning so it even smelled like fall. Oh man, you have no idea how very much I LOVE FALL.

Can I just say that I am so surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie?

I've never been a fan of Cameron Diaz (well, except for in the movie "The Holiday" -- I can't help but love that one). I don't care for Ashton Kutcher. Lately I don't enjoy many PG-13 comedies because they always seem to be way too crass, too immature, show too much that I don't care to see, etc. But this movie? Completely not what I expected! Actually had a cute storyline. Even showed a little of the truth that marriage can be hard work, but it is worth it. And was pretty stinkin' funny. Yay for being surprised.

I am in love with this version of one of my favorite songs. Adam Levine's voice is perfectly suited for this arrangement, and this week, I find myself listening to it over and over and over...

"Pure Imagination" - Maroon 5

Peace out, kids. This old lady needs to catch some zzzzz's....

Instead of the "No fly" list, we proudly present the "No buy" list.

Since many of you seemed to enjoy the oh-so-lovely Christmas pants post from last week, we may have to make this a weekly column, although it is pretty sad to think there are so many such products out there for sale that I feel it is my public duty to warn you about. Regardless, for your viewing pleasure, here is another item that has come to my attention lately which you should not buy under any circumstances, public or private*:

Flip-Flop Socks?! Are you kidding me? Doesn't anyone watch What Not to Wear? Flip-flops + socks = BIG NO. There should never be a situation in which it is okay to wear socks with your flip-flops. And there should never be a reason for socks to have separate big toe pockets sewn in. Putting cats (or bunnies or frogs, the other versions available) on them does not make them any cuter.

*As your trusted officer of the fashion police, I feel I must confess that there might have been one or two times when I myself have been guilty of committing such a fashion felony -- when on a cold morning I have gotten up, still half asleep myself, to put the dogs out in their pen in the backyard, and I found my flip-flops near the back door and stepped into them with stocking feet -- but that is not the same thing as there were only four-legged witnesses to even confirm such an account ever happened. And I guarantee you I gave Minnie Pearl enough dog treats to keep her mouth shut on that one.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I heart concerts.

I loved the American Idol concert. And I am not ashamed.

And I might have screamed like a silly little girl when David Cook came out. And maybe for cute-little-ukelele-man Jason Castro as well.

But I'll never admit it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Turn that frown upside down, by golly.

You know it's not a good day when you pick your kid up from preschool and find the piece of paper titled "incident report" in their backpack. Especially when the previous two days you were also informed of naughty behavior. In this case, third time is not a charm.

You know it's not a good day when your dog, covered in mud, is pawing at the back door, when she is, in fact, supposed to be back in the pen with her comrades, surrounded by the expensive recently-built picket fence (that they apparently managed to dig the huge rocks out from, chew down the bottom of a few pickets, and Army-crawl under). Thank the good Lord above that they can't actually get out of our backyard.

You know it's not a good day when you burn the microwave kettle popcorn because you are becoming too long-winded when discussing today's incident with said three-year-old.


there are still seven hours left in this day, and by golly, there's still time to redeem itself. :)

Tickling the ivories

In my other life I am a pianist. It's what I went to college for, went into debt for, haha, and came out with a degree in. It's what I used to do full-time -- as a church pianist, as a piano teacher, as a Kindermusik instructor, as a choir accompanist, as "The Wedding Player" (my mantra up until a couple of years ago was "always a pianist, never a bridesmaid", instead of the old adage "always a bridesmaid, never a bride"), and as a music store director of education. This other life used to be my main life, and everything revolved around the 88 black and white keys that were a part of my every day existence. In fact, people that knew me in this other life, they only knew me as "Valerie, the pianist". Now, notsomuch. Today my main focus is on being a wife, a mother, a cook, a maid, a chauffeur, a seamstress, a blogger, and a human being. My new title is "Valerie, _____'s mom". Most of the people that know me today have rarely seen me as a pianist, and many of them might not even know that I play the piano. Yep, life has definitely changed over the last 7 or 8 years. And those 88 keys occasionally find a moment to fit in my new life, but I'm sad to say they have been relegated to being played maybe once a week, sometimes once a month. Sad, but true.

This week I was able to find a balance to bring the keys back into my life, if only in a small way. It's been nine months since I last worked part-time as a pianist, and I'm glad I've found my way back into playing. Our city has a pretty fantastic ballet company, and over the last four years, I have worked part-time, on and off, as a ballet accompanist. Ballet accompaniment was a whole new ballgame to me when I first heard of it four years ago. I'd done lots of different types of accompanying in my years, but I'd never done anything like this. When I first started, I was completely out of my element, and the challenges from ballet accompaniment were overwhelming to me. After training for a few months, I was supposed to enjoy a "gentle introduction" -- the plan was to start out playing for the Level 1 students and work my way up, but instead my first experience was quite the opposite -- thrown to the wolves, in a sense, by accompanying the Level 5 classes, taking my instruction from a French man flown over from across the pond to teach, a man who knew no English paired with me who spoke no French (oh Jacques, I will never forget you), and even playing for the company dancer's rehearsals many a time. Playing for the professionals rattled my cage the most, and after an hour and a half at a time of my nerves being shot through the roof, I always enjoyed the sense of peace and relief at having survived successfully through another rehearsal wash sweetly over me. Although these were each completely terrifying experiences for a beginner like me, they did give me experience much more quickly, and over time I was able to feel somewhat comfortable as a ballet accompanist. Life changed drastically for me in the four years since those first experiences, with the arrival of my son and my newfound role of mother, and my hours of ballet accompaniment had to take a backseat to my new roles, shrinking to less and less hours at the ballet as motherhood soon took over. But I'm happy to say that after four years, I feel I've finally found a most comfortable nook in the ballet accompaniment world, one that fits into my new life as a mother, and that is in playing for their public school program.

Our ballet company has a program in conjunction with our city's public elementary schools where they offer a six-week introduction to classical ballet. The kids attend 45-minute long classes once a week and learn the fundamentals of ballet. These classes are taught by professionals, have live accompaniment (that would be me), the participating students get to wear leotards (girls) and ballet t-shirts and shorts (boys), and at the end they get tickets to attend a performance by the company. For the last class of the six weeks, their parents/guardians are invited to come and watch, sort of like a recital.

I love this program. Many of the kids who participate would never have the chance to take ballet were it not for this program. It is so fun to see the joy on their faces when they walk in, excited to be wearing a dance leotard (also a first for many of them), excited to be doing real ballet moves in a real live ballet studio, and even excited about having me, over in the corner, willing and able to play music at the drop of a hat for them to move to. I love watching their little facial expressions, watching them studying themselves in the huge mirrors covering one wall of the studio. (If you've never seen a little kid watch their own reflection in a mirror for more than five minutes at a time, you're missing out. It is hilarious.) I love it, when towards the end of a class, they each get a turn to fly diagonally across the floor all by themselves ("run, run, leap!", "run, run leap!"). You can tell some of them really get into it and feel as if they are some famous dancer, adored by the audience. I love observing the boys -- they are usually skeptics in the first week, but come to accept it by the end of the six weeks and are usually even talking about how cool it is. I love seeing the familiar faces each year, students that have now been participants for two or three years, students that are excited to be learning more. I love playing for this program.

All this to say, I'm so glad that piano has found a way back into my everyday, even if only for six weeks at a time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I remember exactly where I was.

Seven years ago today I was living in Dallas, driving on my way to work when I heard the news on the radio. I can picture the Walgreen's drugstore, sitting on my right, at the exact moment the man on the radio cut in to tell us terrible news. I remember adrenaline rushing through my body, a bit of panic wondering whether our country was under attack, wondering if my loved ones in other states were safe, wondering if my city was safe, etc. I remember my boss telling me to run home and grab my little TV and bring it back to work so we could all watch the news coverage, and I remember watching that news coverage all day every day for at least the next week. And I remember simply being in a perpetual state of shock for quite a while, eyeballs glued to the news day and night, just like the rest of the country.

I remember growing up hearing my parents occasionally bring up the topic of JFK being shot and where they were when they heard the news, and I remember thinking it was so odd that they could pinpoint such a time and remember it so vividly. I never wanted to have a date like that for myself, but all of us who were alive on that fateful 9/11 will now have our own date to annually recall. Not that any of us ever wanted that. I pray that my son will not have his own tragic date to look back and remember where he was when it happened.

I didn't know anyone personally affected by the tragedy, I mean, anyone that lost a loved one directly, but I joined the millions of Americans in feeling like a small piece of my heart (not to mention sense of security) was ripped out that day.

My thoughts and prayers go out today to all of the victims of 9/11.

Who wears the pants?

Women of America:

I implore you. I beg you. I plead with you.
Please don't make your men wear these:

Or these:

Or, as a matter of fact, these:

Unless, of course, the men in question are either age 4 and under, or they are cute little grandpas (even then it is a bit sketchy, but you can make the call).

*Items found in the Orvis catalog that arrived in my mail slot today, all of which are between the low, low price of $150-175 a pair. No jokin'. While this post is in no way intended to put down the Orvis catalog, as they have many other items in there that are very nice, it really should be considered a crime to sell these pants and expect grown men to wear them. In public. Unless maybe they are part of a costume.

Playing catch-up

Good news: yesterday I did accomplish at least half of my list -- two junk drawers cleaned (that's been on my list for a couple of years now), and three loads of laundry done. Not bad, not bad at all. Today I hope to finish off the laundry, and tackle underneath the kitchen island. Surely I can accomplish this...

Although I have not blogged as often these past few weeks, I have been a busy little bee and have a few pictures to show for myself.

First off, I finally forced myself to finish the quilt top made out of the layer cake* I won from the Quilter's Buzz blog:

(Yipes -- I should have ironed this before taking a picture!)
*layer cake: 10" squares of fabric from one collection, usually sold in sets of 40

I will probably try and find a backing fabric this weekend, but I am stumped as how I should attempt to quilt this. Usually I send my quilts off to someone with a long-arm machine, but surely there should be some easy way for me to quilt it myself on my little ol' sewing machine, right? But that is where I am stumped. Pattern? Straight lines? And how in the heck do you machine quilt? (In asking this question, I am admitting to the world that I normally just sew away like normal with my zipper foot and don't exactly know the proper way to quilt on my machine. And since I've only done this on doll quilts, it hasn't really been a big deal that I've been going about it probably the wrong way.) Am I supposed to use a certain foot? Lower the feed dogs? Adjust the tension to something else? Any tips or advice you want to throw my way are always appreciated. I don't have the patience to hand-quilt this one, so that's not even an option.

I also made my son a king-size pillowcase for his preschool, to cover his napmat. I happened upon this super-cute fabric panel at JoAnn's. It reminds me of something you might find from one of my favorite kid stores, The Land of Nod. I just added a folded strip of fabric across the bottom, appliqued on some letters to spell out his name, and sewed up the side seams and across the top. Voila!

(the back)

(the front -- my son's name is appliqued across the bottom, but it is cut off in the picture)

I was pretty excited about it. If he doesn't nap at school (which I don't think he does), at least he has something interesting and educational to stare at while he lays there quietly.

I also stitched up a new quilt top (it's just needing the borders added). You already know that I am a hopeless fabric addict, and I am trying to at least makes some steps in the right direction to start using up more of my stash (since I am constantly adding to it). I have had this Heather Ross West Hill fabric for about a year now (confessions, confessions) and decided it is high time to make something out of it, so I took a cue from Amber and am using this pattern. I've got so much fabric to work my way through, it's ridiculous.

(I should be ashamed of myself, not ironing it before I took a picture, but I was in a hurry.)
It may not be the most beautiful combo of fabrics, but it screams fall to me, from the muddy browns to the dark olive greens and the brown gingham I searched high and low for. And it will serve its purpose well in our household, as a lap quilt to be used by the three of us in the living room watching TV (and occasionally by the greyhounds for nesting, I'm sure).

I forgot to mention this earlier -- we now have a winner in the Halloween costume department -- mailman. My boy will be going trick-or-treating, proudly dressed as one of the official United States Postal Service workers. What can I say? He is in a phase of loving everything mail-related -- from checking our mail slot next to the front door, searching with his Mama for packages on the front steps (grrrr, still waiting on two more packages), going to the post office and chatting with his favorite postal workers (not to mention usually providing entertainment for everyone in line), and watching for the mailman to come down the street every day. And let's face it -- he's probably not ever going to be the age again that he actually gets excited about dressing up as a mailman instead of a superhero or TV character. Although I love love love the dragon slayer costume, I have a feeling that it could be a popular choice for years to come, so it can hold off for another year or two.

And I think I'm going to make myself an apron. I had won three yards of fabric from Jennifer Paganelli over a year ago (see, I told you I am terrible at hoarding fabric and taking forever to use it) -- it is a light yellow background with large brown flowers all over it. I also found a bunch of brown on brown polka dots, and between the two, I should have enough fabric to make an apron without having to spend a dime! (Well, maybe spend a little on two cute buttons, but that's it.) I liked the pattern I used for my Fall Sassy Apron Swap, so I think I'm just going to try and sew one up to keep.

Speaking of aprons, I received Fall Sassy Apron Swap apron in the mail from Kaiya! It is very cute with all the fall colors I love, and it will definitely fit the bill for all of the cooking I have planned this fall.

She made me a potholder that can double as an oven mitt, too, which will definitely come in handy. And she was also thoughtful to include some Colonial At Home pumpkin pie scented tealight candles as well. Thanks, Kaiya!

And speaking of good mail, yesterday I received my Doll Quilt Swap 4 quilt. Nichole sent a note along with the quilt saying that this was her first quilt to make ever, and I am very impressed! It also makes it just that more special to know that the first quilt she made was made for me.

I love the pattern of the hearts and the colors and fabrics she chose. She also included two tea bags in the package -- Guayaki Yerba Mate Organic Mate Chocolatte. I'd never heard of this before, but I made up a cup last night, and that stuff is so good! I made my husband try it as well, and he loved it. I've never had a tea before that was sweet enough for my liking (before me having to add in honey), but this stuff is perfect, straight from the teabag. I'm such a new fan that I'm going to go to my local Whole Foods and see if they have it there. If not, I'll be searching the Internet to see if I can find it. Thanks, Nichole, not only for the beautiful quilt, but for also introducing me to a drink that will be a new favorite for our family!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Go, Valerie, Go!

(above title needs to be sung to the tune of the world's 2nd-most-annoying theme song, "Go, Diego, Go!", only 2nd to the world's most-annoying theme song from Dora, the Explorer)

This is my wish list (around the house) for today. I am posting it on here in the hopes that I will keep myself accountable. If I even accomplish half of this, I will be ecstatic. If this works, I will maybe post more projects on here for the rest of the week. But I am not counting my chickens before they hatch, no sirree. Let's take this thing one day at a time.

Monday: tackle the kitchen (get rid of items we don't use under the kitchen island, go through the pantry to see what I have and possibly reorganize, tackle the junk drawer, er, um, make that two junk drawers), laundry (4 loads)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Duck Duck Goose

Tonight after dinner out at one of our favorite establishments, we stopped on our way home to walk around the "lake" (a loose term here, since I would really call it a large pond especially after having lived in Minnesota for two winters, Land of 10,000 Lakes, but people in our city like to refer to it as a lake, especially since it has two resident swans to gaze at). Anyway, the "lake" is in a residential neighborhood not far from our house, in an established part of the city, and there are beautiful houses on the street surrounding it. Just like we always do, we parked our car, got out, and proceeded to walk our lap around. All three of us enjoy searching for the swans, watching the ducks, and counting the turtles.

Soon after we got started, we noticed one of the houses on the street had two ducks (one white and one brown, more wild looking) and a goose drinking in their yard out of a dog bowl. Curious, we stood and watched, and after a minute, the man of the house came down from their porch to talk to us. He explained that people sometimes dump their domesticated fowl at this "lake" (run by the city parks association), probably thinking it is the best place to dump them when they can no longer care for them. He said that he and his wife noticed the poor duck swimming crazily in circles, so she jumped the fence to investigate, worried that he might have gotten a fishing line stuck to his leg or gotten attacked by one of the resident snapping turtles, and it wasn't too long after they got him out of the water that they discovered he was blind. Poor little duck, dumped, domesticated, and blind. They've since given him residence across the street at their house, along with a dumped goose.

(I'm sure you've all seen a duck before, haha, but here is one he looked quite similar to.)

It was so fun to talk to the man and hear their story, and he even allowed the three of us to grab a handful of the duck/goose food and feed them out of our hands. Their beaks moved so fast gobbling up the food from my hand -- it sort of felt like a weird little sucking vacuum cleaner. I've never petted a duck before either, but he was so soft and surprisingly sweet, although the poor guy really looked out of his wits not being able to see what was going on around him. The goose was extremely noisy, honking and walking back and forth around us, a very curious fellow indeed.

(And here is an image of a similar goose. His neck was so much longer than the ducks, and like I said, he was much noisier as well, but also quite friendly.)

The goose took a particular liking to my shoes and my toes and would not stop pecking and nipping at them. It didn't hurt all that bad, but it was pretty funny. They also had a dog and two cats, and it was pretty neat to see all of the animals hanging out together for a short while. The man also told us that the blind duck had apparently made a little friend in the wild brown duck, who had been protecting him over in the "lake" those first few days after he was probably dumped, and now the brown duck occasionally comes over to visit the white duck in his new yard. How cute is that?! Of course, we are definite animal lovers, and my husband, whom I often refer to as St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the animals, due to his constant rescuing of any and every animal he comes across (and no, I am not Catholic, this is the only saint I can actually name), well, he was especially in heaven with our little animal encounter. And of course, the rest of our walk around the "lake", my husband and I talked about our dream to eventually live out in the country a little ways on some acreage, with room to have lots more animals, including a goat for me named Nan (just like in one of my absolute favorite movies, Tammy and the Bachelor), and now, I definitely have added a duck to my wish list.

It's evenings like these that I love, little encounters when you least expect them that remind me of the good out in the world. Hopefully we will get to see the little blind duck and the loud nippy goose more often. Next time, though, I think I'll wear some close-toed shoes...:)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Oh, Mr. Postman, look and see...

...is there a letter in your bag for me? Sing with me now...

I'm hoping for some fun mail in the next few days! Every day I get my hopes up before I check the mail, only to have my hopes dashed when there isn't anything fun in there. In fact, the mailman already came here today, just after I typed this first paragraph, and I didn't get anything fun, gosh darn it. Maybe tomorrow? Anyway, a few fun packages should hopefully be making their way to Wonderland soon: my little quilt from Doll Quilt Swap 4, my apron from the Fall Sassy Apron Swap, more fabric from Hancock's of Paducah (the second half of a shipment, the first part of which I already received), and my new datebook for next year from Snapfish. I normally order my datebooks from Walgreen's -- you know, the ones where you can put your own personal photo on the front and have it start with a month other than January, all for $10 + shipping -- but this year the program wouldn't let me crop my photo the right way on the Walgreen's site, so I hopped over to Snapfish instead since they actually make all the stuff for Walgreen's anyway. Oh, but I am a nerd when it comes to datebooks -- I get giddy and excited to start filling it in. And let me be the first to tell you -- I am LOST without it. LOST. I am not normally a very organized individual, but with the datebook, I can appear to be organized, haha.

I was very excited to hear that my apron has been received! It traveled all the way up to the beautiful state of Washington, and Nadine emailed me to let me know that she loved it! Funny thing, she said she almost picked that exact fabric to use as well which means she loves the fabric, and that she also owns the same apron pattern which means she likes the style as well. Whew! I was relieved to hear that she truly likes it, that all the hard work I put into the apron paid off!

Want to win something? I'd bet my bottom dollar you do (quick, name that movie). Then head over to my gal pal Karen's blog and enter! I would, but I'm a lucky girl already -- I won a giveaway of her fine stuff a couple of months ago, and that just wouldn't be fair for me to win again, now would it? Karen makes her own soaps, salts, and scrubs, and they are fantastic!!! I've already enjoyed a few baths with the Ocean bath salts, and I'm in love with her soaps. Want to marry them and all. Just kidding. Anyway, what are you waiting for? Go enter. You can thank me later.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Life is just a bowl of cherries or a chair of bowlies or something like that...

Lest you think I dropped off the face of the earth, I'm here popping my head in to tell you I'm still alive, just busy this week. Busy with preschool, busy with errands, busy with laundry (isn't everyone pretty much always busy with laundry???), busy with life. Yep, real life sometimes gets in the way of my virtual life, haha. Darn that reality.

Anyway, I'll be back soon, maybe tomorrow, back with my usual antics.

--a note from the artist-formerly-known-as-"Mary Engelbreit's biggest fan" (but I will always still hold a place in my heart for dear Mary and her artwork)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Retail therapy.

New day.
New month.
New catalog.
New attitude.

Now if only I had some new 100-dollar bills to magically show up in my wallet, I'd be set.