Saturday, March 31, 2012

Baby shower!

My beautiful friend is expecting again and I was thrilled to be at her baby shower!

Besides a gift card, I gave her a bib handmade by Linda:

Totally lovely, right?

And yes--it's going to be a boy!


Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting Crafty with Linda

While at Linda's, I made and dressed up these Rice Krispies Treats:

And I made this lovely clutch:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Native Foods

It's par for the course that I'll hit Native Foods when I'm in Orange County.  I managed to get a friend to squeeze in lunch with me there and then bonus--another friend happened to be there! It was good food as always though I had my heart set on their Reuben sandwich which is apparently a "seasonal" item and wasn't available. Boo.

A slight digression: before lunch Linda and I did a little craft and fabric shopping. As we're parking, I notice a lady coming out of the Joann's wearing full top and bottom sweats. I said to Linda, "man, craft people have GOT to dress better--as if we don't get a bad rap as it is..." Linda threw me some shade and said, "did you look in the mirror?!" And she was right, I kind of just threw on some clothes at the top of the bag, not giving it much thought. I think Linda thought it looked like pajamas. I said I looked like an unemployed Bill Murray character from some 70s movie.

Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eating Linda's food

I decided to fly into SoCal to surprise a friend for her baby shower when I found a RT ticket for about $250. It was a sign to do it, right?

The baby shower is Saturday but I'm crashing with Linda's to craft and eat her food. After drooling over so many of her food posts, I was psyched she was cooking for me:

ZOMG--scallops and pasta!

And for "dessert"--homebaked cheese bread.

"We" (okay, mostly me) ate an entire loaf.  But look at this:

Can you blame me?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Draw Something App round

I'm still digging the Draw Something game app, though I still do not know how a game ends or how someone wins. But still it's a bit of fun--here's a drawing that Linda drew for me:

A happy couple--COUPLES?  No, too many spaces.  Let's see night...Oh wait, uh...could it be...

No.  Then finally it hits me:

And then sometimes, the other player will comment on your efforts:

Almost like hanging with my friend in person.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Ate NY again

If you're interested, you can check out my blog posts on my food blog where I enjoyed:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The many faces of cuteness

As I flew out of JFK, I had these cute pix to put a smile on my face:

On the way back from BabyCakes

Something Awesome--like a big dog

Still cute

That's more like it

See you soon, Augie!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Heartbreak in the Mitten/Draw Something app

The Louisville Cardinals brought heartbreak in the Mitten with their sound defeat of Michigan State last night. As well as totally busting my bracket. Argh.

On the bright side, Linda introduced me to a new game app, Draw Something, and I am hooked! You basically try to guess a word that your friend is drawing and it plays a recording of sorts of the whole effort as she is drawing, not just a final drawing. I love it -- maybe it makes me feel like I'm there with my long-distance friend for a moment.

Though I have to confess, I don't know how the game is scored (I'm guessing it has to do with the coins we earn) or how somebody wins or even how the game ends. But it's really fun to play. Similar to a lot of Words games, you play when you have time, and you get to see a replay of your friend guessing your word as you draw it. I wish I could save some of these replays or at least go back and watch them.

Anybody want to play with me? I may just be upgrading to the paid version soon--I'm definitely addicted!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Let's Go Spartans!

I'm in a March Madness pool again this year and currently sitting in the #2 spot with my picks so far. But more importantly I'm the only one who has Michigan State Spartans as the tourney winner while everyone else has Kentucky, UNC, and Syracuse. All these guys are playing tonight and tomorrow. As I'm still at my mom's, I'm limited to network television and can't even watch the Michigan State game playing on TBS tonight (but can follow the highlights on my SportsCenter app).

But obviously, it would make my brackets if Syracuse, UNC, and Kentucky bow out this week. Here's the superstition that has worked so far: I don't wear my MSU shirt on the day they play, and wear it the day after they win.

Here's hoping I get to wear this shirt tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Running in NJ

To prepare for the Mud Run, I've realized that running a straight distance is something I can "comfortably" do (I'm using that term generously) about once a week. I've been pretty impressed with myself that I've been doing 2 miles straight about once a week. Well yesterday, an e-mail went out to all those doing the Mud Run at work back in SoCal that there were going to be organized runs after work.

I sent a reply wishing I could be there prepping with them together and hey, how many miles were they doing so I could keep up? The answer was that the runs were going to vary depending on experience, oh, anywhere between 2 - 5 miles. I stared blankly at the response. Holy crap. For all my pride in doing 2 miles once a week, that still put me on the low end of their after-work runs--which is supposed to be including beginners.

A friend (who we had long ago planned on putting a Mud Run team together) told me that he's running 4 miles, twice a week. Holy crap! Panic set in and I pretty much ran outside immediately to try to catch up. I made myself run 4 miles no matter how long it took.

I made it. But man, it was hard. My shins kind of ached at first and at the end of the run I felt achy in my lower back and some tension where my neck and shoulders meet--possibly from clutching my iPhone (which I need, need, NEED for music). It looks like I'm going to have to boost my weekly run to 4 miles (yeesh, maybe more realistically 3 miles) if I hope to keep up with my teammates in SoCal. I hope my body is up for it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunday: Eating with a Cutie

Sunday I spent hanging out with this handsome guy:

We had a wonderful brunch with his parents at Northern Spy Food Company, where they even gave him some sliced apple:

The staff was obviously super charming and the food and cocktails, delicious.  Then a little post-brunch swing time in Tompkins Square Park.

After watching Michigan State's win over St. Louis move them into the Sweet Sixteen, we headed over to the Mermaid Inn and hit their Lobsterpalooza:

And then a sweet walk home:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Catch up

I lucked out that I was able to catch up with two friends from college, Tom and Mike, yesterday in New York.  Here are a couple of pix from us in college when I hosted a dinner party for World Vegetarian Day in my dorm room:

As you can see, this party was a rager:

And here we are today, a couple of decades later:

We happened to be meeting up on St. Patrick's Day, which is usually one of the days I'd recommend staying inside if you're in New York:  twenty-somethings with a holiday license to binge on green beer and Irish whiskey makes for unpleasant sights unless you have a fetish for obnoxious people and public vomiting. But we avoided the key spots and got lunch at Sushi Lounge:

And bonus!  My sister brought this cutie by to impress my friends:

With plenty of Sapporo beer and saketinis, we caught up on the things people of a certain age who haven't seen each other in a while do: our ailments, the changes in quantity & color of our hair, our fluctuation in weight, jobs, family, etc., which makes for a pretty enjoyable time. The saketinis enhance the lively discussions.

Of course we made room for some Big Gay Ice Cream, and enjoyed the Salty Pimp, Cococone, and American Globs cones:

Then a little break for coffee and then dinner at Mitali East, where we enjoyed a few of their Madira Ho Mumtaj cocktails:

Aka as "Intoxicated drinks of love"--and I have no idea what was in them:

And I enjoyed their Vegetarian Combination Platter:

We stayed until nearly midnight which made a wonderful 12 hours of catching up, digging up embarrassing memories, lots of laughs, great toasts, and good times. So glad to reconnect with these college friends and look forward to seeing them again!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Pat's with a healthy Shamrock Shake

A great way to avoid an embarrassing Shamrock shake encounter is to make a great green shake at home, right?

What's great about this one is it's also healthier! The details are here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Back in NY/NJ

Back up in NY and NJ!

I lucked out and got to hang with my friend Pat, straight from JFK to downtown:

And of course, some smooching and dinner with this guy:

before my drive down to Jersey to see my mom. 

Busy day, but made a lot more pleasant with good friends and family!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Machine appliqué tee

Still getting crafty with t-shirts and appliqué techniques--this one I got to upcycle some cute material from clothes I wasn't wearing:

The full post and lessons learned are here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Strong and Sexy: Women who I Wanted to Be when I Grew Up

It started with a simple question recently:  who would I want to play me in a movie about my life?  Without missing a beat, I replied, "A young Sophia Loren, of course."  Yes, I know she's not Asian, and technically not young enough to play any part of so-far-lived life but God knows, when I was growing up, I certainly wanted to be her.  Maybe a little odd considering I don't think I saw her in a movie until seeing the film version of "Don Quixote" in a high school Spanish class.  But I just remember that as a kid I saw this picture of her--and given this was when there were like 20 tv channels and no internet to drown my brain with thousands of faces--and she stayed with me:

I loved that unlike a lot of the thin, blond, giggly bunnies that were the beauties du jour of my youth, she was curvy, dark, and tough.  Sure, she's uniquely beautiful, but don't call her a sex object because, dammit if that face and carriage don't demand respect.  I was mesmerized by this woman who I saw personify strong determination and action, not just thought of as a pretty ornament.  As a child, I knew there was no way I had the face to be a pretty object so I was encouraged and captivated by the beauty of a woman's strength that Sophia Loren solidly represented.

Then about middle school, I discovered my next tough and sexy muse, Debbie Harry, while she was lead singer of the band Blondie.  Again this was right before MTV and with no older siblings, I had fairly limited access to and grasp of music and bands, so there may have been other female rockers, but I somehow managed to come across Blondie first.  I was totally enthralled that not only was she lead singer of a rock/punk band, but I loved her quirky and unique look, that had that "if you don't like my style--it's your problem" confidence.  And I loved her lyrics that went from longing to ripping someone to shreds.  Man, I died and went to Heaven when she guested on my favorite show at the time--The Muppet Show--and sang one of my favorite songs:

I dig rainbows too, Debbie!  Years later, I had a boyfriend who worked in a video store in Chelsea (where she lived) and one day she walked in.  He went up to her and went on about how his girlfriend totally adored her and she was very pleasant and polite.  Sigh.  I'm sure she heard that all the time.

In high school, I discovered Sheila E. and Cat Glover.  Well first I discovered Prince, and then these two fine and impressive ladies.  As I described in my brief review of Sign O' the Times, Sheila E. symbolized that roles (like a drummer) don't have to be defined by gender but by accomplishment. And Cat--she made strong look so, so awesome.

I don't think I hold a candle to these ladies as an adult (despite my attempts at Cat-influenced dancing at weddings), but I certainly appreciate their influence on me.  They opened my eyes that there was more to being a girl than trying to be pretty, that strength was an asset, and that being yourself can be pretty darn cool.  In the hundreds of cable channels, internet sites, and reality shows available today, I'm glad to hear that right now, one of my daughter's favorite characters is Katniss Everdeen, tough heroine of The Hunger Games.  I'm thrilled she appreciates strong women too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lazy lasagne

Made some Lazy Lasagne last night.

How lazy? How about not pre-cooking the lasagne noodles? Interested? I posted the how-to here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Girls get Crafty with T-shirts

The girl made a sweet birthday present for her friend--a hand-crafted t-shirt, a la Amy Tangerine:

It was easy, quick, and lovely.  I posted the details here.

And I also re-sized a t-shirt that started out too large:

Interested?  I posted details of that adventure and lessons learned here.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New blogs!

I now have a crafting/creative inspiration blog: 1 Crafty Mother

I also have a food, aka "I'm eating", blog:  1 Hungry Mother

I initially started this blog, Good for Something, with the encouragement of Linda (whose blog is one of my FAVORITES) to share crafty goodness.  It kind of evolved into a more personal blog full of posts about things like my opinions, the happenings in my life, and rants about not being able to lose weight.  And I realized I wasn't crafting as much and my blog was more of a diary of my life and I started losing fellow crafters.  And then on the flip side, some friends mentioned their eyes glazing over the food posts I was doing.  So I thought about trying to overhaul this blog and bring more balance but in the end, I felt I was so all over the place already--so I chose to concentrate on separate blogs.

I wanted to get more crafty and foodie since the New Year, so I started these two other blogs.  So now my friends who are interested in my life, thoughts, and other minutia can still follow my personal blog, while the other two blogs will motivate me to get crafty and well, eat more new things.  And bonus--as I aim for these two other blogs to be more public, I'll refrain from foul/rude/cantankerous language a lot better than I do here.

I'll probably still point to posts on the other blogs here (and I've even copied some of my food and craft posts from this year to the other blogs) so feel free to just hang out here if you like.

I'm hoping these blogs will encourage me to create, eat new things, and write more.  And as usual, I welcome any comments or feedback.  Thanks for reading, everybody.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Crafty boy

I was so pleasantly surprised to get some handmade goodness in the mail:

These are bracelets made from duct tape! Aren't they awesome? They were made by my friend's youngest son--yes, a crafty boy! He already is a sweet and well-mannered boy and now crafty! If he adds bread-baking or dessert-making to his repertoire he'll have no shortage of dates with girls when he grows up! Am I right, ladies?

Thanks so much for this wonderful surprise!