Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Birthday Boy and other things

 We celebrated Kelby's birthday over the weekend and he kept saying it was the best birthday ever. He says that every year ;) I love birthdays so much!

He wanted a Lego Mixel cake. In the past, my friend Melissa has made us the most awesome cakes ever. I am not good at cakes so I had no problem hiring that part out. But, alas, we have moved away from Melissa and her awesome cakes and I've had to do them myself. The best I could do was get blue cake mix, orange frosting with sprinkles in Mixel-ish colors and buy these pdf cupcake toppers on Etsy. He loved it, so I succeeded :)

 We picked mustache plates. Things got silly.

Kelby is still building and rebuilding some Lego sets he got for his birthday. Legos are the coolest. He also got some Zoobs, which are pretty cool too!

You know what is not cool? The storing and the everywhere-ness and the stepping on of the Legos. We have Legos everywhere, all the time. They're by far the most played with toy at our house. They're mostly played with in the main rooms, occasionally in bedrooms, but they're stored down here in a hall closet. We have plastic bins of all sizes, a rolling cart with Heartlake City covering it, a bathtub with Bionicles playing war and certain spots on the rug that are Kelby's go-to building sites.

I'd ask what your solutions are for the Lego problem, but I've determined ... there is no solution. Ha! Don't tell Casey, though, he's been brainstorming for years about how to solve the Lego dilemma. But, I've given up. I don't mind having Legos everywhere because of the endless hours of fun they provide my kids. The best I can do is have them generally contained by the end of each day and that'll have to do.

That said, if you have solved the Lego problem, please let the rest of us in on your secret in the comments ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2014


It's my baby's birthday today! Aw. He's been counting down the days for weeks, he's been so excited.

I'll have lots of bday pics to share tomorrow, I bet.

But for now, as long as he still sits like this, I will still call him "my baby boy." I love those toes.

The gift that I am most excited to give him is the "mix tape" I made him for his birthday! I saw this idea on another blog last week and immediately started my list of songs to put on his mix tape. I decorated it with my sad attempt at a sharpie Emmett (of course). I'd love to make these each year for my kids' birthdays! You have to know someone really well to compile all their favorite songs, that what makes these special ;)
Here's what's on it:

  1. Everything is Awesome (The Lego Movie)
  2. The Pirates who Don't Do Anything by Reliant K on the Veggie Rocks album
  3. Life is a Highway by Rascal Flats
  4. Mercy is Falling, on Crazy Praise Volume 2
  5. Fix my Eyes by For King and Country
  6. Afro Circus/I like to Move it by Chris Rock from Madagascar 3
  7. Fruit of the Spirit, on Crazy Praise Volume 2
  8. Happy Day by Shane and Shane
  9. Come Home Perry (Phineas and Ferb)
  10. I Just Can't Wait to be King (The Lion King)
  11. I've got a Dream (Tangled)
  12. Reindeers are Better than People (Frozen)
  13. In Summer (Frozen)
  14. Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book)
  15. Today is Gonna be a Great Day (Phineas and Ferb theme song by Bowling for Soup)
  16. When Can I See You Again by Owl City (Wreck-it Ralph)

Monday, August 11, 2014

McCall's 6436, take 2

I love my whale shirt so much, I went ahead and used the same pattern for this bold, but oh-so-soft-and-flowy cotton plaid fabric I got at June's recently. I wanted a more casual look, though, so I left off the collar pieces and cut a bias strip to make a tie neckline instead. I love how it turned out, I stayed so cool on the super hot day that I wore it. It was a little wrinkly at the bottom from riding in the car, but I wasn't about to iron it for a photo, haha.
In other news, the storms passed our island with little damage. The big island received a direct hit with a lot of damage and power outages, so keep them in your prayers. But, for us, it was a cool rainy and windy day, fun to watch from the back lanai. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Iselle and Julio

I have had a few readers wondering about our safety here, so I want to put everyone's minds at ease for now! There are two hurricanes headed for the islands, so it has been a week-long crash course in hurricane preparedness for us. The hunt for water was successful earlier in the week and the scramble for groceries was accomplished yesterday. Also, a trip to the library was absolutely necessary in case I can't charge my iPad for several days. Point for paper books, haha!

Iselle will be the first hurricane to directly hit the Hawaiian Islands since the early 90's, the Big Island receiving the most direct hit. By the time it reaches Oahu, where we are, it will be a tropical storm. We are located in the hills and live in a newer house and so we feel secure as far as our physical safety. We are prepared for up to several days of power outage and no water. We have several cases of bottled water, lots of canned foods and things that can be heated on our grill. We will fill the bathtubs with water to be able to flush the toilets. And we have flashlights and batteries. We are not super worried about our safety up here, only our sanity, with the possibility of no Internet ;) Good thing our game closet is fully stocked.

It's kinda cool following these satellite photos. Just the fact that modern science can literally predict and follow the path of hurricanes is pretty amazing. The islands look so tiny next to that huge funnel, eek!

Where Hawaii does need your prayers is for the homeless. There are a huge number of homeless people here, many of them living under bridges and highways and in parks. While shelters are doing what they can to get the word out and assure people that the shelters can offer safety to them during the storm, many are refusing to pack up and leave their spots. Please pray for Hawaii's homeless! My heart has been turned toward them since we moved here, there are just so many.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vogue 1395

I am often drawn to Rebecca Taylor's designs when new Vogue patterns are released. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one, especially after several versions and reviews of it started popping up! My friend Jenn picked it up for me during a sale and in the same box she sent that, she sent this awesome polka-dot rayon she'd texted me about when she was at JoAnn's once. I asked for three yards and knew it would be perfect for this dress!

 Lots of reviewers had some issues with this pattern. Most said the armholes were low and almost everyone said the narrow hems on the ties were impossible. I didn't have a problem with the narrow hems, as Vogue's method is the one I almost always use anyway, especially on curves, so I've had lots of practice with the method. As for the fit, when I tried this on, I thought it was a wadder. The shoulders slid way backward, my bra showed through the arm holes and when I shifted it all forward to where it was supposed to be, the ties no longer covered the elastic waistline! Oh and the sleeves stuck straight out because they are bound, not just hemmed. But I tried it on again the next day and ended up just taking extra chunks out of the shoulders/sleeves (big chunks, I pinched over an inch out of each one.) This fixed all the problems completely. I think it'll be a new favorite for sure.
 The construction is different, but I do think the instructions were written with beginners in mind, although I still think beginners would need help on some of the techniques. Some things you just don't understand 'til you've done them. Just follow directions and you'll be fine!

So while this dress might be a new fave, I'm struggling with what to do with my old faves!! Some of the handmade dresses in my closet are ready to be phased out, but boy, is it hard to get rid of handmade things!!! Some of them I'll try to refashion or at least use the fabric for smaller items, if not clothing. My style has evolved quite a bit this year and some of those dresses aren't really the current "me". Time to let go, but it is hard to give away my hard work!

Oh, and you totally wanted to see a picture of a snail before I left you, right??
You're welcome :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Simplicity 1887 ... Second version

Sometimes the stars aline and the idea, the fabric and the pattern for something just fall right into place without trying. This is one of those! I had pinned a couple of polka dot skirts (this one and this one) on my Pinterest Style board. Shortly after that, I stumbled on a great polka-dot cotton twill(ish) fabric at June's and right after that, I made this success of a skirt. I knew right away I'd use the same pattern for my own polka-dot skirt.

I really love this. I think it's very on trend and can be worn in many ways. I've seen similar skirts worn with button down tops, which I'm wanting to make more of anyway, after my whale shirt turned out so great. I underlined it with white cotton, which was sufficient enough for the see-through factor, although I still wear nude unmentionables with it.  (FYI, many women think white undergarments must be worn with white bottoms, but this is not the case! White can still be seen, it's nude colored undies that's the key. That was free advice, you're welcome ;)

I omitted the pleats on this version by simply folding them out of the pattern piece when I cut out my fabric. Other than that, no changes were made and I really love this pattern for all the same reasons I listed with my first version! The elastic in part of the waistband, the pockets, the casual Summer length. Love it!

I have a turquoise twill and am debating yet another skirt from this pattern. But I just made a pair of orange shorts that turned out pretty great too so I'm debating another pair of those with the turquoise. What to do, what to do?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Casey's on the mainland for a couple weeks, wah! He's be gone so many times in the past, but it's actually been awhile now since the last time he was out of town, so I'm out of practice. I'm still new here too, so that doesn't help. We're all fine, though, keeping busy and having good days.

Right before he left, I had him help me take my vanity apart so I could paint it! My dad bought this vanity for me at an estate sale (or something) when I was a young teenager and spent weeks hiding out in the garage in the evenings, painting it and making it nice for my birthday. It's one of my favorite things!

After so many years, several moves (still shocked the mirror is still in tact) and spending 6 months in Layla's room in Virginia, the paint was in such rough shape. Proof:
 It wasn't a matter of just cleaning it because the oil based paint just stained so badly.
 Once I got it in my head to paint it, I assumed I'd just repaint it white. But, we have white walls and probably always will, as long as we are in the military. So I thought painting it a color would really help it pop out from the wall and make a statement!
 Here's an in-progress shot:

and here it is all finished:
This last photo is very true to the actual color. I LOVE how it turned out. It may seem like an odd color choice, but it really fits in with the rest of the room (you can sorta see in the mirror) and I think it's spectacular. A huge improvement and no longer a wall flower. It certainly stands out now! I'm sure my Dad is having heart palpitations knowing I painted over his hard work. Sorry, Dad!

I kept the metal knobs because Dad actually found those in my Grandpa's treasure-filled garage after he passed away and brought them from California to Colorado just for my vanity. I love that about them.

Some of you understand, once you have the paint bug ....

I was sitting in this rocking chair across from my vanity admiring my work, thinking how much better the chair would look with a makeover. I have this fabric in my stash. But I think it would look amazing if I painted the wood black, don't you?
What do you think? I know painting and recovering these things can be a pain. I texted Casey and asked if he thought I could spray paint my rocking chair and he said, "I have no doubt you could, lol".  It feels good that he has such faith in my skillz. Hahahaha!

Monday, July 21, 2014

McCall's 6702

I bought this gorgeous print cotton lawn at June Fabrics. It's from Japan, I was told and it's just so super pretty. I had been looking for a pattern that had this half placket type thing for a few weeks and I must have overlooked this one a bazillion times because the version on the pattern envelope is just SO BAD! So bad. Luckily, I spotted a made version on a blog (I can't remember which now, I'm sorry!) and ordered the pattern when they went on sale. I loved the rounded collar detail and the awesome cut-out back.

Mine turned out pretty great!

I changed the hemline because I don't like how hems cut shorter and straight across the front tend to make me look squat, whereas shirt tail hems tend to elongate. Everything else is right out of the envelope, although I should have done a swayback adjustment, as you can see below. I almost always do and I don't know why I forgot on this one! 
Just proof that the envelope version is really bad:

In other news, we made a desert in a pan today at school time. We went outside with our pan and cacti to dig in the dirt and all the little neighborhood girls wanted to help. It was so fun. We made some little clay snakes to put in there once they dry and we can paint them. But, anyway, check out this cactus flower!! It's SO cool, I just can't get over it. It has a donut center and zebra striped petals! It bloomed the day we brought it home. What a creative God we serve!