Sunday, May 31, 2009

Whirlwind Scorcher of a Weekend

I loved getting away the latter half of the week. It's not all the time I get to miss work on a Thursday AND Friday and it really was a great break.

A big big BIG thanks to Erin and Tom for watching our fur baby for us this weekend. I hope he wasn't too much trouble!

Thursday morning our flight left at 6:50am. We got about 3, maybe 3 1/2 hours of sleep before we had to wake up and leave to catch our plane. We were tired. I am strangely cheerful at the oddest times. When most people would be quiet and grumpy for being up insanely early, I'm rip-roaring and ready to go. And I'm sing-song silly about it.

Ryan's not terribly fond of flying. He started out the morning with a good 2 hour snooze on the plane. While he slept I made this. Attach it to a chain and it's a necklace.

After an uneventful flight we got into Phoenix at 7:50am, grabbed our luggage and hunted down the shuttle to the rental car facility.

By 8:45am we were practically at the hotel the Alexander clan would be lodging at for the weekend, but we were starving and drove a little past to treat ourselves to a breakfast of a yumbo yack. Mmmm. Don't have those out here. At least that I've seen.

I hadn't showered for the day yet so I hopped in the shower and got ready and we waited until everyone else got there. Ryan fell asleep. I watched TV.

I saw a girl on the plane earlier that day with THE cutest haircut: a really steep a-line with a fairly long front. I wanted that haircut. At least I started entertaining the idea that I did.

Then Ryan's fam got there and mom had pretty much the same haircut but much shorter! That's it, I want it cut. Especially in that heat. After lunch, Mom and Sarah and I went in search of a salon to do the deed. This is what I ended up with.

It seems to be my sassy springtime cut! Remember last years'?

Thursday night was a pool party and simple dinner with Rinda's family then a quick look around the reception location and a quick set up of tables, chairs, and other hanging decorations. I didn't help much, but I cheered them on.

Friday morning we had to be at the Temple by 9:15am so I woke up at 6:45, showered, woke everyone else up, and got ready.

The sealing was beautiful. The sealing room was gorgeous and they were so cute. Lots of happy, beautiful tears and smiles. Oh my gosh, her dress! It was soo pretty. It was a custom made gown that looked like it could have been an old 1930s gown. It was gorgeous and suited her perfectly.

We finished up Friday with a luncheon at a mexican food place {delish!} and a reception later that night. The garden where the reception was held was amazing! A little oasis in the desert. It was actually a very casual reception. Strawberries adorned generous slices of silky cheesecake and chilled pound cake. That's it! But it was so perfect. Oddly, I didn't take my camera with me and have no pictures.

We got home around 11pm, maybe a bit later, and we all crashed.

Saturday morning Ryan was up and ready before pretty much everyone. His dad walked out of his hotel room and Ryan commented on his clothing choice:

To be fair, Ryan was dressed first. So either Ryan dresses like a 50-year-old man or his dad dresses like a 27 year old. You can decide for yourselves.

After lunch and an adventurous drive to an indoor swapmeet, we sadly said our goodbyes and headed back to the airport. Ryan was very sad we had to leave before anyone else.

We made it home safe and sound, albeit really tired and later than we expected.

I love weddings!

A Long Time Coming

Shoes here on sale and match perfectly! {ooooh! they come in brown and wide width...those WILL be mine.}

First, the skirt I mentioned. It took me a little too long, but it was a good learning experience. I based it off of this gorgeous creation from Katie did. I wish I had her 5yr old's figure. At least the part where she's cute and skinny and has no hips. I wish it had been more of an exact copy of hers. I would love all those different colors. But this fit the bill and I got many compliments {from strangers} while at the Temple on Friday morning. And we all know I do things for validation. Wait, you didn't know that? Now you do. Cuz I do.

I washed it last night when we got home.

{We had the best intentions of making it to church this morning, but I guess with the hectic week we've had, our bodies told us differently. Well, that and we forgot to set alarms.}

So I pulled this out and let it air-dry. This afternoon when we dragged ourselves out of bed {me a few hours before Ryan} I looked at the state of the skirt - shredded on the inside. I should have done top stitching on all of the seams. It would have given it a completely different look but I wouldn't have had to restitch a few of the panels {oddly enough, only the Kona Cotton solid...what I got from Sarah's wasn't Kona. Interesting, no?} this afternoon.

I made this headband to match. It's from a gerbera daisy I picked up at walmart. I cut the petals down about 50%. It gave it a wild, rugged flower look {and less of a baby-headband look}. I pulled out the plastic center and wired what remained to the headband. To finish off the wire, and avoid loose sharp ends, I added 5 fresh water pearl beads into the center and tucked the wire underneath. It matched perfectly :)

Also, I made this mobile based on this Martha creation. So cute, right?! I have all the stuff done for a second one, save for gluing on the leaves. And I need to replace the white thread I used to hang the birds with nylon fishing line. Then it will go in one of the spare rooms.

Next on my list - cleaning up my craft room and putting together baby shower invites {they're adorable. I got them printed prof. and I am so happy with them--plus, they weren't expensive at all}.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Popping In

Took this last night at the reception. Not really any other pictures from the weekend. Well, maybe one or two--I'll have to check.

Not the greatest quality (ryan's phone after dark) but you get the idea.

Pretty much I'm just showing off how freaking handsome my red-headed husband is.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wedding Week

Ryan's brother James is getting married this Friday! With wedding colors chosen I went to work to find a skirt or dress for myself for the ocassion - with no luck.


So I saw a cute skirt on a blog {I'll add a link when I post mine} and thought, I could make that. I could make that 'me'-sized.

So that's what I have been doing. Drama-rama. I gathered all my fabrics. I went with a simple cotton solid in 3 different colors that I'd be alternating. I washed, dried, ironed them all. I cut the ivory, I cut the peach, I went to cut the pink. {her colors are ivory and coral and I couldn't find ANY coral that I liked so i figured a mix of peach and pink equals coral}

The pink has a white sun-bleach line through it. The whole yard. Not only on the fold but also where it wrapped around the bolt. shooot. It was Sunday so I had to wait until yesterday to go get some replacement pink. Well, that didn't happen. The whole bolt was sunfaded on the line. That bolt and any other colors remotely similar I would have chosen. So instead I gathered a pepto-bismal pink bolt and a ballerina pink bolt of fabric in my arms and I'd make it work. Wrong. It's all wrong. I washed, dried, ironed both of them and cut into one. It's so loud! much too bright for the look I'm going for. Le sigh.

So I went to Sarah's Fabrics on Mass a few minutes ago and finally found a couple that are perfect! So perfect, in fact, that I wish I would have used both of them instead of the peach I already have sewn in place.

They're currently in the washer-soon-to-be-dryer stage and I'll have to hurry and sew it up lickety-split tonight after I get home from the gym. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to post the picture of a finished skirt.

It will have to be done tomorrow. We leave at 4:30am on Thursday morning.

Wish me luck! It's a busy week!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Kitchen Aide

I can't believe it's almost been a year since my kitchenaid mixer was boxed up in anticipation of our move here. A YEAR! Who does that? In all actuality, it was one of the first things I got excited about after it was unloaded off the moving truck {first we packed it into our storage unit, packed it in our in-laws' garage, then packed it in a truck before driving for 2 days and unpacking it here - there wasn't much excitement during the unloading process in the August heat and humidity, let's just put it that way} but then has been sitting in its box in the garage since then.


I don't know how I've gone so long without it. Granted, my kitchen is the size of a matchbox and if you know me, said matchbox is already full of, well, proverbial matches.

But(!) it's my best kitchen helper: whipping egg whites, mixing delicious chocolate chip cookie dough {...mmm..I really want cookies now}, and most importantly, aiding in buttercreams. I dug it out today after looking through a few Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting recipes and realizing it would be essential in my success or failure in creating a good one.

So, that's what I'm off to do. I'll let you know how it turns out!

{I'm using it to frost a layered vanilla cake with homemade lemon curd in between the layers; I'm really excited to see how it will turn out!}

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

{to put a pin in}

I have had this idea for this bulletin board for over a year now - well at least 11 months. I got the frame from DI last year before we moved. I added the cork {2 layers} and painted on a pretty scallop.

It will either hang in my kitchen as the message epicenter or in my craft area as my inspiration board.

Cost breakdown:
Frame - $2
Spray Paint - $1
Cork - ~$7

So for $10 I have awesome wall decor.

Secondly, I made this memory box with shells Ryan and I collected in San Diego last year when we were there for Nate and April's wedding. I found the oddity of the black shells beautiful and have finally done something.

I think it makes the perfect complement to our downstairs bathroom.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pigtails & Snails Giveaway

This is too adorable not to share with others...even though since I am, I'm decreasing my odds...but...go here and enter or click on the button in the right column of this here bloggity-blog.

Friday, May 08, 2009

My Worst eBay Purchase

Rant ahead. You've been warned.

Ryan and I scored big time a couple years ago when we stumbled upon a HUGE sale from Toys'r'Us. We found TONS of boardgames for less than $5, often less than that. Our favorites are the Michael Graves edition Yahtzee and Scrabble that we have. I wanted to round out our set with Monopoly (which I think is the last of the big name games he designed for Target a few years ago - I could be wrong).

I turned to eBay, of course. I didn't want to pay more than $20, but I ended up paying $25, plus $10 for shipping. I know, right? $35 for a board game we could find for less than $15 down the street at the new walmart. But like I said, this was a special edition.

These are the pictures the seller included and the description.

Item Specifics - Board and Traditional Games
Condition: New

On Apr-25-09 at 20:04:04 PDT, seller added the following information:

the artist signiture is printed on the board, not signed like a autograph, sorry if i was not clear. the packs are un-opened so it has not been played and the box front is nice but has minor shelf wear. it is the michael graves designed game.

It got here today. Here's the email I sent to the seller. {Keep in mind, he accepts returns within 7 days, but I have to pay shipping (again) when he's to blame!}


I just received this game today and I'm quite disappointed.
It was grossly misrepresented in your description.
While the pieces themselves are in unopened packaging,
the game board itself has more dings and dents than 'normal shelf wear' would imply.
Also, the hinges on the board itself are completely broken -
definitely NOT in new condition.

I'd like a refund of the entire transaction. I'm happy to send this back to you.

Thank you,

Why can't people be more honest!? I definitely wouldn't sell this game as new to ANYONE. In fact, I don't know if I'd even sell it. Look at the pictures below and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Those hinges are horrible! And the dark chip is definitely not minor shelf wear.

I'm so sad.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Taylor Swift Meets Coldplay {a la Jon Schmidt}

It's amazingly beautiful.

I love this. I'm downloading the MP3 as soon as it's available again. You should, too. From here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I found the recipe below from here and was intrigued enough try it. If we could save $18 every time we needed more laundry soap, why not, right?
  • Box of Borax Natural Laundry Boost (this can be found in the laundry soap aisle)
  • Box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (baking soda will NOT work as a substitute)
  • 1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap, a stain removing laundry soap
  • Scented oil of your choice {optional - I didn't use any}
For the instructions, visit Little Birdie Secrets post {with pictures, mind you!} here.

Well, I was kind of skeptical at first. It was just a liquid and I couldn't see how it would become more gel-like, but of did.

Here's what I learned:

1. Don't put into containers until the next day, once it has had a chance to gel up. I funneled it into my gallon milk jug and laundry soap container while it was hot. The next day the container I filled up second was complete solid and the first was still a liquid. So I had to dump both of them back into my huge pot I used the first time and mixed them altogether and had to use my whisk to break it all up and make one lovely homogeneous soap.

2. Wait until ALL the soap melts. Ryan was awesome and grated the soap for me. Instead of looking like the picture from Little Birdie Secrets, ours grated into more of a fine dust. That made it easier to 'melt' into the water.

3. Make a half batch. 2.5 Gallons is PLENTY. I didn't really learn this for the next batch because I was smart enough for this one :) It will probably last us 3 months. It cost us $1.25* for 3 months of laundry detergent. suh-weeeeeet!

4. Fabric Softener has plenty of scent. I didn't have any essential oil and didn't want to go buy any so we skipped it. We still buy the lovely scented FS and makes the clothes delicious to the olfactory senses.

We've used it for 3 days now and 5 loads {'s been laundry weekend} and I like it. Everything smells fresh and clean and I am paying a little more than a $0.015 per load. Read that? Less than 2 CENTS!

Anyone else have homemade remedies that have saved money? Please share!

*I should clarify: It wasn't $1.25 at the grocery store checkout. It was closer to $11 +/- $2. But that's what the breakdown is. The bar of soap is what will need to be repurchased every six months but we only used half the bar for our 2.5 gallon venture. Therefore, $1.25.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


We seem to have ants EVERYWHERE. I woke up on Friday morning and there was a little one crawling on my cell phone (which is what I use for my alarm). The night before I smashed two that were crawling on the wall behind our bed. Ew.

Thursday morning Ryan said there were 15-20 on his bathroom counter and Friday afternoon I had probably over 100 on my vanity. Double Ew.

Wait - there's more. Friday night they were crawling up the door frame between our bedroom and bathroom. That's it! No more! So off to Walmart (a new one by us just opened! hooray for close convenience! - although, it's a weird walmart - looks really big but something about it makes it seem really small. Like 3/4 the size of a normal one.) to purchase ant killer.

I found both traps and spray. I don't like the traps and don't recommend wasting your money like I did. These ants are too small to get into the little plastic trap and eat the poison to take back to their nest. The spray is fab. It says it will last 4 mos and kills the little buggers on contact. It's true, it does.

So now we face the task of spraying every nook and cranny in our house. I'm most concerned about upstairs. Friday night I crawled into bed around 2am. Ryan had almost been asleep at that point. I felt something crawling on my chest and realized it was an ant. EWWWWW. Once you feel something like that and KNOW there are ants, you can't do anything BUT have the heebs. So I turned on my bedside lamp, waking up Ryan in the process, and found another crawling on our bed and one IN MY SHIRT. Panic mode

What are we going to do?! Well, for starters, I sprayed awesome killer along the baseboard on my side of the bed. Sweet. Step in the right direction.

In the short term we moved the bed away from the wall. If that didn't solve it, I was going to sleep on the couch. After 15 min I fell asleep, but I dreamt of ants. Twisted, huh?

So, long story long, ants come inside after the rain. It's gross, but at least they're teeny tiny and kill easily. Now we know and can spray 3 times a year to keep it from happening.

{also, this is funny, but Ryan claims he can smell them. I think he has a phantom smell issue, cuz ants aren't the only thing he claims to smell when no one else does.}

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Saturday with the Alexanders

We're kind of boring, Ryan and I. We slept in until 9:30/10 this morning. I had to set my alarm to get up and even snoozed it. Twice. Sad, huh? Or jealous? And the only reason I HAD to get up is because an eBay auction for a replacement iPod was ending (it's miiineee! I sniped it with 3 seconds left and out-sniped 3 other people...teeehee). And we're heading to the gym in 10 min.

Last night we went out by ourselves. Usually we go to dinner with friends on Friday and/or Saturday night but we didn't plan anything and ended up catching a late movie.

Has anyone else seen Ghosts of GF Past yet? Didn't it seem like it should have come out around Christmas time? Granted, had there not been any snow it would have been fine, too. But Ryan felt out of place in a theater full of girls. There was maybe 1 boy for every 10 girls, if that.

But the promise of movie theater popcorn and a gallon of soda and there we were at 9:55pm (I told you it was a late movie!).

This week has been really weird. I've just not been myself. I'm guessing the dismal prospect of another day of rain didn't help, but overall I've been feeling like garbage. I took yesterday afternoon off because I felt so terrible and just wanted to go back to bed.

Anyways, not to end of a sour note, so here's something positive! I went to a couple of yard sales this week and found some pretty dang awesome treasures. Some of them need cleaning up and another (in the running for my favorite of the bunch) needs a wee bit of a makeover (it's a yo-yo pillow of silk ribbons and satin backing that once had old old lace which I already tore off. The satin back and stuffing are going to be replaced for health reasons) but after that's done I'll take a picture or something.

Today might be 'clean up the garage' day for me. Sooooo....I might have a huge pile of stuff to get rid of soon.