Sew Sew

I’m tired, I’m busy, I’m sort of behind in my classwork. So I decided that Sister and I neeeeeeeded some Wonder Woman gear for the Heros and Villans 5k tomorrow. So I made a headscarf (elastic band) and wrist cuffs (velcro closure).
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Also, my sewing kit is portable- a makeup/closet organizer thing.
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StitchFix #3!

I was a little surprised to get the email that my September StichFix had shipped- didn’t August *just* end? But this first day of fall, it arrived at my doorstep.
StitchFix #3

And it was full of fun things! And full of way more win than last time. In my feedback from my last [fail] box, I gave a story about what I might be doing in October (travel) and mentioned that a bag that fit my laptop would be nice to update my little backpack that I’ve using for a work bag/purse. And I got busy with pinning more things to my “things I like” Pinterest board that I’ve shared with them. Clearly, keeping that board updated/current is key to a successful StitchFix box. On to the conspicuous consumption pictures! (Also, I haven’t made final decisions at the time of writing this,.)

The first thing I tried on was the “Stella Colorblock Dolman Sleeve Knit Shirt”. At first, I was kind of “meh” about it because it was so comfortable, like wearing a long-sleeved tee, and I wasn’t sure if I should scrunch it up, or pull it down, or how the heck I should wear it. And then I remembered that one of my goals with trying StitchFix is to update “jeans and t-shirt” into “at least jeans that fit and a nicer shirt”, and the price was pretty nice on the shirt, so I’m thinking I’m going to keep this. It’s a better comfy shirt, one that I feel I could wear to work without feeling like I’d thrown in the towel on getting dressed for the day.

Do I wear it like this? Not bad DSC_0191.JPG Is comfy

Then there was this red shirt, “Carson Front-Twist Sleeveless Blouse”. I liked the color and the idea of the blouse, but it was just… weird when I tried it on. It didn’t have an actual bottom of the shirt in the front- it’s looped around, so it also stuck out in front. It also just didn’t seem long enough and it gapped terribly when I moved. On the plus side- I could use the pouch as a pocket. But really: Eh.
20140923_141203 20140923_141120 Pouch? Runway

The box also has some skinny straight-leg jeans (“Level 99 Straight Leg Jean”) in a size smaller in number than I usually wear (but the same size number as the last pants they sent, which have turned out to fit really, really well), and though I was pretty skeptical that I’d even get them on, they’re so soft and stretchy that they fit pretty well. I’ve never owned skinny jeans before, but I like these. And they sent a bag (“Urban Expressions Sylvia Front Zip Crossbody Tote”) that fits my laptop, I can wear on my shoulder and across me, and there are pockets in the front that are perfect for snacks. Snack pockets! Or, when I need to be practical, I can fit a small thing of wipes and a diaper in the pockets. But really- snack pockets. When I make my own purses, they all have space for my wallet, phone, a pen and a snack. This has all except the pen pocket, but I could get a pocket protector for that in one of the additional pockets that this has, right? Finally, there’s a dark green cardigan (“Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan”), which fits well, is comfy, and is something that fits in well with my other clothes. It’s a style that I like in a color that I don’t own. I like all three of these final items.

Bag Sweater DSC_0178.JPG DSC_0182.JPG

Additionally, the pants that they’ve sent in this and the previous box don’t have the problem that most of my pants have recently developed: the saggy butt. It’s maybe hard to see in these pictures, but my butt actually stops halfway down the back pockets. I need some pants that actually fit at the end of the day.
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In conclusion, I think everything except the red shirt was a win. What do you think? Am I blind to a style error with this StitchFix box?

All the photos and more! on Flickr, and my StitchFix referral link.

The Dryer, and extra sheets

I. A few weeks ago, we went shopping with Sus-babe and Susan. We went to Pottery Barn and checked out the kid area, where Lena was drawn to some expensive dolls and an inexpensive crib sheet (I don’t know why she liked the sheet, but that’s Lena.) We let her hold on to the crib sheet while looking around at other things, and she was enthralled by the different modes of transportation on the sheet- bicycle! Train! Bus! Truck! Car! Another car!

When it was clear that snack time was overdue, I tried to exit gracefully and wanted to just put the sheet back and let the Sus-babes shop, since we’ve done fine with the two matching rocket sheets that we have and I didn’t want to introduce some kind of bedding inequality into the mix. Lena apparently decided the best way to make sure she got what she liked was to start licking the sheet in front of store personnel. Yay. We went home with the sheet, but I put it away.

II. Last week, we discovered that something had entered our house through the outside dryer vent and chewed a hole in the dryer tube to get into the laundry room. We replaced the tube, but I started finding poops (not identifiable to me other than, yes, that is poop) in the room.

III. This weekend, Lena and I had an epic playdate on Saturday with friends from college (one visiting, one just moved to GA) and kids. Lena played hard, ate pretty much everything we put in front of her- two red peppers, cheese crackers, turkey, mixed veggies (but not the cauliflower), two string cheeses, banana sauce, grapes, cold milk for lunch and applesauce, two more string cheeses, fruit snacks for snack, and then nearly an adult portion of pulled pork plus a full serving of her own (and some of mine) of green beans for dinner. She ate more than I did!

IIII. Sunday morning, Lena woke up and still had too much food in her and it apparently needed to exit through the closest exit. There really is nothing like waking up your partner with a drive-by shouting of, “there’s a diaper full of poop on the dresser, soaked clothes, and puke in front of her closet, I’m putting her in the shower.” In all that excitement, we missed the poop + pee on her sheets until nap time. She was fine after that until snack time, when Jeremy served her a snack and Lena just puked on it. (I was out at a soccer game.) Then there was more puke, and then a shower after “dinner” (where Lena just sat with us and had a banana + juice while we ate) because she’d bubbled poop out of the top of her diaper (something we hadn’t seen when she was an infant because cloth diapers have real elastic at the top.) Yay.

Also Sunday morning, we discovered that the animal had chewed another hole in the dryer hose. I’d really wanted to put the sheets I’d washed Thursday, then again Sunday morning before checking on why Lena was crying in her room right after waking up (because I’d forgotten that I’d washed them, and they included Lena’s spare sheet), into the dryer. After that is when we discovered the poop on the bed. So it really was fortunate that Lena had insisted on licking that sheet in Pottery Barn because I actually had a clean spare fitted crib sheet to put on her bed.
Extra sheet!

End of August StitchFix

This month’s Stitch Fix was not nearly as much of a win as last month’s. There were some definite misses.
Like this dress. It didn’t look too bad, but the elastic waist hits at an uncomfortable spot and I don’t know what bra I’d wear with this.

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They suggested pairing it with this gray sweater, but I just don’t feel like it does much of anything for me, and I have more comfortable sweaters already.

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There was also an embroidered top, which I did like when paired with last month’s coral awesome sweater.

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But by itself: no. Very much no.

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And the final two pieces, I’m having a difficult time deciding if I do like them or not. I think I like the shirt, though it’s a bit college varsity. And I like the pants and what they do for my rear, though they are a bit snug.

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What do you think?

Also: referral link.

Conversation

When Lena’s quiet at dinner when we ask about her day (instead of the usual “saw Ms. Aurora, saw Jayna Bayna, saw Izzybell, saw Alice, saw Cooper”), we often ask her about her day in yes/no questions. Today:

Did you join a biker gang? *yes*
Did they give you a biker name? *yes*
What is your biker name? *silence*
If you told us, would you have to kill us? *yeah*

Did you perform a tracheotomy? *yes*
Was it a necessary tracheotomy? *silence*
Was it an unnecessary tracheotomy? *nod*
Did you perform it with an ice pick? *no*
Did you perform it with a pen? *yeah*
Did you do rhinoplasty today? *yes*
Was it on you or someone else? *somebody else*
Was it after a bar brawl? *yeah*
Did you use a hammer? *yes*
Did you use a screwdriver? *yes*
Did they live? *yeah*
Did they need to go to the hospital afterward? *nod* *They went in ambulance*

They went in an ambulance? *yeah, with Auntie Georgia*
Did you get a tattoo? *yeah*
Where did you get a tattoo? *on my… leg* (puts her chicken on her leg, holds it there, removes it, and then inspects the spot where it was to see if there’s a tattoo)

Why, Super Why?

Lena’s been sick, so we’ve watched many episodes of "Super Why" (aka Super Readers!) over the last few days (thankfully, it’s on Netflix and there are 70+ episodes). But watching that many episodes of a children’s show means the songs are stuck in my head and are invading my dreams. I had a strange dream last night, coming up with new premises for upcoming shows.

One was about Whyatt getting lost, and how to read signs in yards to figure out which house you should go knock on the door to ask for help. If they have kid toys and a preschool sign in the front yard: go for it! If they have barbed wire, "No Trespassing" signs, and "Guns don’t kill people, I do" signs: stay away!

And the one where Princess Pea discovers that P is for Pregnant, with the super letters spelling out "Protection".
Finally, there was one about Alpha Pig getting into some kind of white supremacy gang, but there was something about their fondness for bacon that brought the episode to a shocking end.

Dinner Tiiiiiiiime!

I’ve been getting into freezer cooking recently. Some people take a day and make all the meals, but I’ve been taking a lazier approach: When meat/ingredients are on sale, I get a bunch and go ahead and sort them into bags for dinners. Meals that require little to no preparation before going into the freezer are my favorites- just dump it in a bag and go. This way, I can made dinner for the night and prep another 3-4 meals in about half an hour, including clean-up. It takes a few days to get through the whole freezer list.

Every few weeks, I go through the sale flyers, pick a grocery (or farmer’s market), make up a list of recipes that, together, use whole units of ingredients, and then make a shopping list of the ingredients that I don’t already have in my pantry.

An example of my list:

Pineapple flank steak http://onceamonthmeals.com/pineapple-ginger-flank-steak/
tex-mex burgers http://onceamonthmeals.com/tex-mex-burgers/
Cilantro lime chicken http://onceamonthmeals.com/grilled-cilantro-lime-chicken/
enchiladas
Coconut curry pork http://onceamonthmeals.com/5-ingredient-coconut-curry-kebabs/
bacon quiche pie http://ourgaggleofgirls.com/recipes/2009/05/02/bacon-quiche-pie/
Chicken bacon apple sliders http://onceamonthmeals.com/gluten-free-dairy-free-chicken-apple-bacon-sliders/
Garlic crusted pork tenderloin http://onceamonthmeals.com/garlic-herb-crusted-pork-tenderloin/

And the groceries:

1.5 lb flank steak
sm can pineapple juice
vegetable oil
2 lbs ground beef
jalapeno (1-2)
3-4 lbs chicken breast
limes (4-6)
cilantro
corn tortillas
coconut milk
country-style ribs (2lbs)
curry paste
bacon
ground chicken
granny smith apple
pork tenderloin
garlic

Now, on this occasion, I didn’t make everything I’d planned. I didn’t find the curry paste (subbed for curry powder in the recipe), cilantro, or a good price on the pork tenderloin. I didn’t find ground chicken, but I did find a sale on ground turkey + a coupon, so I made a switch. I also found a great deal on the ribs, so I made/froze bbq ribs to use up the whole package and to use up the rest of some bbq sauce. Finally, I ran out of time to make everything to get it in the freezer by the "freeze by" date on the package (and ran out of space in the freezer to store everything), so the tex-mex burgers didn’t get made, the chicken became something else, and I skipped the enchiladas. The tenderloin went onto the next spreadsheet as a possibility.

This has been really convenient- we just need to pick out our dinners the night before, so they can thaw in the fridge overnight. We can pick out our dinners after Lena goes to bed, and we can throw them in the oven/microwave/heat in crockpot as called for in the recipe, without having to figure out if we have everything or if we have time to get it on the table before Lena goes into Hangry Toddler mode (our incidents of Hangry Toddler and "just make some nuggets" have gone down dramatically.) I have found some terrible recipes (like the bbq meatloaf of last night), and some excellent ones that I kept making until we were tired of them (honey mustard curry chicken). It’s also been nice on our budget, cutting it in half by purchasing most foods on sale (it had gotten a little out of control.)

In conclusion: I like this method of cooking for the weeknight stress relief, the knowledge that we can have a tasty dinner on the table no matter who’s home to cook, we are trying new foods, and the ease on the food budget.