21 April 2014

A bit of fun

Oh my stars, this has been a long and exhausting weekend.  The things you do for your kids, I swear... although, if given the chance to do it all over again I definitely would because I know it meant the world to her.

We took Hobbit to the Bippiti Boppiti Boutique on Friday to celebrate her 9th birthday.  She bobbled back and forth between tears of joy and giggle fits of disbelief over it all.  I was sick as a dog too, popping Dayquil every four hours like it was going out of style because I wasn't going to let what I thought was a simple cold hold me down.  Lost my voice on Friday morning but I was determined to make this the most amazing birthday for my baby girl.  She had a blast though - here are a few of the hundreds (yes, literally) pictures I took of her birthday.

Her dress, crown, and scepter waiting for her in the dressing room.

Getting everything ready to tame those curls into a Princess bun.

I love the escape curls in the front there.

Hair, nails, make up... the whole nine yards was going on.

Time for some magic sparkles to make it all complete.

She even sparkled her shoes!

Princess Hobbit, ready for supper with Cinderella!

We managed to dodge the thunderstorms and make it perfectly intact for supper.

Prince Charming lived up to his name, until he tripped her on accident...

Cinderella was absolutely lovely...

Anastasia was a hoot and a half - asking if Hobbit dressed up like her, to which she said "yes, of course"...

One of my favorite villains - Lady Tremaine... that face is perfect!

Drizella asked how it all worked out with Prince Phillip because if he was available, it was her turn.

They even gave her a birthday placemat and cupcake!

My little princess coming down the grand staircase.

This the next morning... yes, the hair stayed perfectly in place!

Pokey was chosen as an extra in the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular... too much fun!

By lunch, she was living up to her name...

She woke to a cupcake that was delivered to her from Prince Phillip!

After lunch, we went over to Nana & PopPop's house to celebrate... because every princess needs a Darth Vadar cake!

We stayed over at my folks' house to celebrate Easter Sunday with them as well.  My voice was still gone and I was feeling miserable but that's when the tummy bug I had on Monday hit poor Pokey and he was just miserable all day.  It looked like we would be staying a second night but he was able to rally enough for us to drive the two hours home.

Today, Hobbit went to school and I drug Pokey with me to the doctor's office to figure out why my voice was still gone and the Dayquil wasn't working... that's when we learned that I have been fighting an upper respiratory infection and he has the flu.  Thankfully, Hobbit has walked away unscathed which is perfect.  She loved every minute of this past weekend and said it was the best birthday and Easter ever - precious memories to last her forever.

Don't forget about the giveaway I have going on right now - you could share some of your special memories with your mom or your kids and be entered into the drawing for an awesome book courtesy of RAKJpatterns.  Click the link and join in the fun.

17 April 2014

Book review and a prize for you!

It is my honor to introduce you to one of my favorite designers.  She makes the most creative and whimsical items, her instructions are super easy to follow, and the end results are always perfect.  Say hi to Kristi Simpson from RAKJpatterns.

Kristi recently asked if I would be willing to review her book on my little space in the crafting world and naturally, I said yes!  I knew I would be getting a book that had some cute patterns in it but I had no idea that every pattern would have me reaching for my hook.  They are seriously that amazing.  Here, it's easier for me to show you exactly what I'm talking about...

You don't have to know how to do a single stitch - the photo tutorials will walk you through every single step of each stitch she uses in her hats.
Look at how stinking cute these creations are - how can you not want to make every single one offered?!?
30 hats means 30 different hats - not 15 hats sized for adult and children.  And the sizing, holy wow... no nogging is too big or too small for one of these.
I had to grab my hook the minute I saw this one because my niece is having her first baby in May.. she needed this hat.

So I made one for little Ruby and one for my niece who is a Marine stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  I chose that green so the hat wasn't too girly but still stylish and feminine.
These hats whip up like a dream.  The directions are super simple to follow - no complicated or fancy terminology.  Kristi explains the pattern just as if she were sitting on the sofa next to you, hooking along.  These patterns are for anyone who has a desire to pick up a hook and make a hat... be it your first or your four hundred and forty first.  You will absolutely love them all.

So, would you like your own copy of this fabulous new pattern book?  It's simple - share your favorite memory of you and your mother, or of you and your kids, in the comments below.  You know you have some crazy tales to tell and we'd love to hear them.  I'll collect all the entries and draw a winner from them on Saturday, April 26th.  All entries must be made by 11:59 pm ET on Friday, April 25th.  Be sure to leave a way for me to get in contact with you - email address or Ravelry ID preferred.  Shipping is limited to the US.

Good luck!!

16 April 2014

Ugh, have mercy...

I know, I've been quiet for a while and I'm so sorry!  I have been sick as a dog and today is the first day where being vertical doesn't make me physically ill.  It's funny how getting dressed and making a cup of tea is now considered a major accomplishment.  My next milestone, eating something and staying awake for more than 30 minutes at a shot.

I have spent the better part of the past 72 hours asleep.  If I wasn't crashed out on the sofa, I was fumbling to the potty... at one point, I just crashed on the potty floor because it saved me the trouble of running.  Pokey was worried about me but I'm starting to see the light on the other side.

Today's residual ickiness is my throat is so sore and icky thick right now.  I have my tea so hopefully that will sooth it a bit.  Just now, a hankering for dry toast hit me so I think I'll pop a piece of bread in the toaster.

Tomorrow, I've got something super special coming your way... thankfully, I wrote it up last week because I would hate to be late posting about a fabulous giveaway...

Oh wait... did I say that out loud? 

Off to make toast and curl back into my blanket cocoon on the sofa.  I'm thinking a West Wing or Scandal marathon is what is needed today... plus lots and lots of tea.

See you tomorrow.

10 April 2014

Totally chuffed!

Remember the bag I had to finish yesterday... welp, it's all done!  I absolutely love how it came out.
I am so chuffed over how this bag came out.  It was just a whim, a random idea of something I wanted to have and then three days later it physically exists and ticks all the boxes.

I wanted something light, pretty, 'just big enough but not too big', soft, sturdy, and original.  I had a rough idea about how I wanted it to look too so I sat down and got to work.  The hardest part of it all was the lining because I have a fear of my sewing machine - not a 'fear' fear but just worry about flubbing up kind of fear.  I'm happy to report that nothing catastrophic happened, mostly because my mama walked me through the hardest part over a very confusing phone conversation... those of us who talk with our hands can't be seen to explain the stuff that confuses us which makes for a trying conversation.

Now, less than 72 hours later, what was just an idea is now a reality.  Being crafty really is a fabulous thing... and now I have this song running through my head...

09 April 2014

Winding up

Lots of fun things going on around here... and all of them are just about done which is exciting!
I have a really hard time crafting when there aren't imaginary points involved.  Joining the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup (aka HPKCHC) almost two and half years ago was the best thing for my productivity.  I love making things for imaginary points so that I can help my house win an imaginary cup - both the House and Quidditch varieties.  Nothing is better than being a part of this group - where they cheer you on, encourage you to try new things, and support you when things don't work out just right.

We are currently in a break month and generally I try to rest my hands during that time since I go full force for three months straight.  Just to give you an idea, this past Winter Term (which ran from January 1 - March 31), I vanished over 6,772 yards of fabulous yarn... and that's just the projects where I kept track of the yardage.  I have several items in there without final numbers on them.  24 projects in 3 months.  That's 6 classes each month, plus Quidditch all term, plus my Order of the Phoenix Mission that I completed.  I'm not counting my failed OWL because I truly believed that, for me, Herbology is jinxed.

So these two things that I have been working on, while may not seem like much, they are a huge deal.  We're in break month right now so there are no classes.  We are just about ready to participate in our End of Term Feast, where we see who brings home the House and Quidditch cups.  My money's on Slytherin... then again, my money is always on my own house!

The purse is about done.  I need to sew the strap to the sides, add the embroidery idea that I have been mulling over, and then go through my fabric stash to see what kind of lining I want.  It's my new park hopping bag for when we go to Walt Disney World.  The less I have to carry, the cooler I will feel.  If we opt to bring lunches then Pokey will carry the back pack full of supplies but if it's just a pop over for some fun, my new little purse should be perfect.

The other item is something that I can't wait to share with you... in another 12 days.  Yep, 12 days.  Can you handle it?  Can you wait that long?  I know, I'm a stinker for teasing you but I've got to cracking if it's going to be of value - which I know it will be because it is so fully awesome I'm busting at the seams to tell you about it.

Okay, off to go finish up these things and perhaps play catch up with my DVR... something was recording last night but I can't remember what it might have been so it's a surprise for me at least.  Have a wonderful day - and if you have a second, come check our fabulous game... even Ravelry has it on the front page this week because we are that magically delicious... wait... what...

08 April 2014

Just jammin'

It is a gross day here today - I love it!  Well, I could do without the thunderstorm aspect of it and just have the rain but we can't have it all.  Pokey took a vacation day today and another on Thursday so it's going to be a random but short week for him.

We're going to brave the weather after Hobbit gets on the bus for school and head over to the store so I can get a few things.  Starbucks is naturally on order since I don't get to pop in whenever I wish now, which makes it real treat when we do go... and it's been nice on my wallet.

Here's a tune to get your day going right.  You can thank Peanut for this one, she introduced me to them the other day.  I hope you have a terrific Tuesday!

07 April 2014

Balancing act

Working from home sounds like it is a dream job, doesn't it.  It's got a lot of perks and a lot of pluses to it but don't be fooled, like any job out there, it has a few set backs.  My biggest one, life balance.

It's a constant juggle to keep things separated.  I have the personality type where I can get lost in my work.  It happened at Disney and my family suffered because of it.  I would go in to work early and stay at work late.  Not because I didn't want to be at home - I did, I love my family to no end - but I also loved my job to no end.  I had a difficult time striking a healthy balance.

I love working on cases at my current job.  If I could do nothing but research all day, I would be one happy camper.  It's not that I don't like talking to people, it's just that I enjoy getting lost in the research that much more.  The problem comes in when there is overtime available.  An hour here, two hours there, and before I know it, I've worked half a shift before my shift even starts.
My work space, in all it's 'natural' glory.. except my tablet which normally sits on the big square and plays music or shows while I work so I don't get whackadoodle in a quiet room.
When that happens, my house suffers.  Sure, I've not physically left my house but I've not attended to it either.  Supper duty gets left on my husband's shoulders after he's worked a long day.  My daughter ends up eating super late because of either my break schedule or his work schedule getting him home after 7 pm.  There are Buddy Bunnies plotting a house-wide coup.  Mt. Dontwannawashit becomes a daunting thing and the kitchen, though technically a chore that my husband volunteered to acquire when I went back to work, just gets too icky for me to function.

It doesn't happen overnight.  It just slowly creeps up on me so then I take a day and reign it all back in.  I don't like those days - because it means I've lost my balance again.  Tomorrow will be one of those days for me, though I've gotten a head start on it yesterday so it won't be so bad.

Once you find your balance, do your best to keep it up.  Everyone in your life will be happier for it - including yourself.  I love the book of Proverbs so whenever I get out of balance, Chapter 11, Verse 1 always pops into my head... "A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is His delight."

It's time for me to get a just weight again.
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