Tuesday, August 31

182. Check Please

I'm checking in to say that I've decided to avoid life as much possible today. :)

See you tomorrow. <3

Monday, August 30

181. Sticking

There were two things done today that were of note.

One: I finished constructing the mini paper bag album about our kitty. It's pretty darn great but I have yet to take any photos of it because I'm still on a roll. I cannot believe how much adhesive I've used for this project. I tried my best to conserve as much as possible but I really did not want this to start falling apart like other projects I've done in the past. That kind of kills me to see. So... I definitely am in sore need of rolls of red tape, zig 2-way pens, and mono adhesive. I truly understand why papercrafters are so obsessed with collecting adhesives now. I thought paper was the most important thing, but I have come to realize that without anything to stick it together with, your projects will most likely not withstand any abuse or test of time. It seems to be one of the most underrated tools you can have on hand. Gah, I just can't get over how much I've used in the past two weeks on what was essentially just two pretty simple projects. I definitely need to put shopping around for bulk on my list of things to do.

The album needs journaling, decorating, and some way of displaying the pictures that I've tucked into the bag pockets. I still have not figured out anything and with what little gluey stuff I have left, I have bought myself some time to think that over. Still determining a title for the album but I know it shall be cut using my Cricut. I'm still freaked out about messing up on the journaling. I guess I could always fix any big mistakes by ripping out the cardstock, but I really don't want to go through all of that. I also have no idea what to do about decor because the background quilt-like idea I had is extremely busy, but I can't just leave well enough alone (aka blank spaces). We shall see.

Two: My SO just made me watch the second installment of the Twilight Saga. I'll pause for a moment while the icebergs melt, the mountains crumble, and the air fills with the sobs and wails of mothers and small children everywhere. ... ... ... Alright. I was not really coerced and I didn't loathe it. Just super cynical and amused by the massive amount of plot holes. He was too. Well, maybe not nearly as bitter and jaded as I am, but that's a part of our relationship dynamic anyways, LOL. He was pretty curious after hearing me talk about it, plus about a third of the world we know screaming about it for months now, plus he caught the first movie last night on the telly. I caught most of it too. I hadn't seen the second movie yet, so I plopped down on the rug and worked on the album via screen glow. Ever get that feeling you've just seen something that you shouldn't have and that you suddenly need to take a three-hour long shower to scrub that feeling away? Yeah, me too. I am for Team Shut Up. Go fig. :P The things we do for love, lol.

Eh, we all know I'm a pushover anyways. Well, that's all from me today- see you tomorrow! <3

Sunday, August 29

180. Caught

Another short (for me) post today. I had some scrambling due to poor planning a

nd mixed up scheduling to catch up with today and I'm done but angry at myself. It's stuff like this that gets me panicked, frustrated, and so very discouraged. And then I don't think I can do anything right and then the cycle begins of beating myself up. But anywho, that's a rant for another day.

Here are two pictures from yesterday just when it began to sprinkle but before the torrential rains.

 And I couldn't help it but look! It's a double rainbow! OMG! XD Half of the people at the party started talking about it too. The funny thing is, the SO only saw the video for the first time a day or two before and he's still highly amused by it, lol.

This is a picture taken after dinner today of a baby tarantula that the boys caught to get off the patio ceiling and let loose. Sure, it's fuzzy but good gravy! /shudder.

Alright, I'll see you again tomorrow with hopefully something better today about myself or in general. <3

Saturday, August 28

179. Party Time

Today was a little bit of a long or rather jam-packed day for me. I was still feeling pretty chipper until about half an hour ago. :( So, I'm actually going to make this quite a bit shorter than I ideally wanted it to be.

My phone alarm has been so weird lately. It keeps starting to go off 23-25 minutes earlier than the alarm set. Then, as if it realizes its grave mistake, will cut itself off audibly. The regular alarm always ends up going off at the appropriate time later on, if I hadn't gotten frustrated and just turned it off when it first began to. Prepped all of my supplies for the day since I didn't know if/ when I would make it back to the house. I really thought I was more awake than I apparently was. I forgot my to-do list on the table, my pajamas in the bathroom (and that's usually the one thing I tend to remember when I'm groggy), and brought a bag of my mini album supplies for no apparent reason. I have no idea. Lol. I know I'm not a morning person but what on earth was I thinking/ doing??

Got all dressed up and finished up a birthday card, wrapped a present, and then headed out with the FMIL to another SU workshop hosted by a co-worker. The time was set so that we could eat a nice homemade lunch half an hour before starting. I have to say, it was pretty darn amazing. Fresh and sweet fruit assortment, rice crackers and smoked cheddar, white cheddar, and brie cheeses, home baked chocolate chip and raisin cookies, and two main dishes. I have no idea what they are called but I have to learn how to make them! They were huge (there was more than enough for seven ladies), wrapped in flaky and buttery croissant crusts, and one was full of taco meat and cheese while the other was a chicken bake (chicken, bacon, cheese, and a tiny bit of mayonnaise). So good!! I think I may have devoured faster than thinking about taking a picture... It was another fun workshop in which we made a cute little Halloween-themed box to put our candy into and a sweet little Christmas card. The new mini catalog goes live on September 1st, so we're getting into the holiday spirit. I'll add pictures of the projects soon.

Then, it was back to the house to reconvene with more of the family to get ready for the next event. We got ready a lot faster than expected, lol. This was really funny because it was a surprise 60th birthday party for a family friend! (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) She was supposed to get to her son's house at 4:30 and while she was touring the property, we were supposed to all make it there and sneak in at 5:00. We totally thought she would have seen a ton of people walking in, but she didn't! We didn't realize that the screens blocked views from outside, lol. So, we were trying to hide behind the bricks. XD Of course, the one thing I learned/ reaffirmed is that the older you get, the more you're really bad as whispering and keeping your voices down. Rofl. Because although there was virtually no way of her seeing us, there was definitely a way for her to hear us with the house under renovation and lacking any sort of sound absorbing surface. Oh, that and the front door being opened all the time to let more people in, so our voices very well could have carried out and over the house into the backyard where the birthday lady was wandering about.

But it worked out, she was totally surprised and we had a lovely time. Tons of introductions throughout the evening, hanging out and around the house, music/ tv everywhere, and food! Lol. I was so spoiled today. It was catered with turkey, ham, and roast beef sandwiches that you could add your own veggies and such to, chips, cookies, potato salad, pasta salad, and, of course, cake! The cake was big and lovely and had a picture of her with one of her horses back when she was nineteen! Such a wonderful idea. And it was friggin' good cake too! Chocolate with creamy chocolate icing inside while the outside was the typical buttercream icing. Ugh! So good. XD

To top it all off, a wonderful monsoon all day long and all around us. It's about time! So the temperature is absolutely breath-taking and a ton of the awful humidity is gone! We even got quite the light show near the mountains. Pretty darn good day.

Sorry for lack of photos, I'm just not up to dealing with that right now. I'm trying to relax and get some more work done on the paper bag mini. Is it really work when you love every nanosecond of it? :P Thank you for tuning in and see you tomorrow! <3

Friday, August 27

178. Opening The Gates

There was not much to today for me. I think I was recovering from trying to exist via caffeine, so although I woke up at a sane hour, I proceeded to take a bunch of cat naps.

Hm. We watched a bunch of survival shows on the Discovery Channel today. :D The SO and I determined that we would most likely die very soon under similar circumstances for lack of skills and knowledge, but that I would probably die first with being surrounded by vegetation. This is, of course, not considering the fact that we may die from lack of internet. :P

I finally got to start on my next learning craft project! It's another project inspired/ taught by Laura Denison at Following the Paper Trail. It is a gatefold paper bag mini album. The link of the project's name will lead you to her YouTube channel showcasing a Christmas album made in that fashion. Two days ago, I decided I was going to try to make one and began prepping the bags and connecting pieces. Yesterday, I decided that the album was going to be about the kitty and printed out a few of the nicer pictures of him. He is such a handsome boy! Lol, we joked about how we could talk about him like he was our kid- maybe make some wallet size prints to carry with us and shove into people's faces at awkward times? XD

But before I get more into that, I wanted to share a few pictures of today's sunset! Because we know how much I love the sunsets out here. Well, just about anywhere!

At first the actual sunset didn't seem all that interesting, especially being hidden by the uncharacteristically overcast skies. But off to the... north(?), there were spots of color that seemed like mini sunsets! It was really bizarre and cool to imagine that we had multiple smaller suns that set at the same time. /content sigh. I just love it all.

Mmk, speaking of loves, here are a couple of pictures I snapped of what I've been able to piece together so far. It's honestly not much. T_T...

There is no cover yet, but I scrounged cardboard pieces from old moving boxes as my base!

There is endless space tucked into this project! Each paper bag page has a cardstock connector. I'm point to where I'm definitely putting a handmade journaling tag for each page to gush about our little man.

Here is the tag that was inside that connector, complete with pull tab.

I'm going to add more pictures and/or journaling on the back of each tag.

 Here's the main section of this page with more journaling space for what was/is the bottom of the paper bag!

Here is me showing that I'm going to stick more pictures (I'm just not quite sure how) and things inside the paper bags because they still open! See what I mean by oodles of room?

Of course Blogger has to go and auto-rotate one picture in today's batch. >_< Well just showing you that on the back of the main section, will be the next page's connector and I haven't even gotten the back of my first two bags done. I have no idea what I'm going to put there, there is so much room! 

Isn't that amazing? There's a summer-y quilt motif going on because I was so excited to start working on it, that I grabbed my little photo mat paper pad and decided to chop out little pieces instead of using whole sheets of my 12x12. Nice compromise, huh? I love how my two pages look so far. If you see in the video, a gatefold album swings one side open then the next. So, once I get the covers made and attached, you'll open up the bigger left cover, then the smaller right and see a connector on each side. Open both of those and you see the first page on the left, lift that to fully see the page on the right, pull that away and see two connectors again. You hopefully get the idea because I constantly forget it and get all bent out of shape trying to keep my album pieces in order. the back cover is one big continuous piece. 

Not only is this a whole new idea for me, but especially the quilt work-paper saving idea, having pockets, and doing tags! I've never done them and I think I wrote a few days ago... that or I was discussing it with/ to the SO (bless his heart, he is not really into arts and crafts at all but respects that it's incredibly important to me), about how I didn't think I liked the idea. Not that it didn't look great and had many possibilities, but I feel (actually, I still do- lol!) that they would get mixed up or lost way too easily. I really hope not, because I'm quickly falling in love with the album and I have so much more to do! 

I decided to try to not go too crazy and stuck with a total of six bags, three on each side. The only type of lunch sacks that we had on hand were actually giant-sized. Not my name for it, that's what was on the label! They are huge! No wonder these boys are so big! Rofl. So the connectors aren't quite the ideal size but that's fine with me for now. A little downside to all of this is that I did not preserve the bags to make them acid-free so they will not last a million years. This will be my first album that's not going to be in page protectors or covered in any way. I am going to not let this thing out of my sight once it's finished! Lol, but not like it being in my hands is going to keep it out of danger. XD

Teehee, before I forget: the cardstock for the connectors is Night of Navy from Stampin' Up, the journaling cardstock is Recollection's Ivory, and the patterned paper is this adorable(!!!) matstack called Summer Dream by Die Cuts With a View (DCVW). I'm just using the super tacky red tape by Provocraft and Tombo's monoadhesive. I'm sorry, but I think that this project is turning out insanely cute and it doesn't even have embellishments! It blows my mind, but that's how I did all of my stuff not too long ago, so idk why I'm so stunned, lol. I love it and if you guys have any questions or want me to walk you through making your own, I have no problems with that at all! 

I can't wait to do all of the journaling too. I have so much I want to put that I may have to type it out and add it! Or something. It's mostly going to have little blurbs about the kinds of things our kitty likes or likes to do. I don't think I could/ should fit little stories in, but that's fine because it gives us something to say/ talk about when people are perusing the album. :D

Well, I'm going to stop myself from gushing any more today. See you tomorrow! <3

Thursday, August 26

177. Waldo & Carmen

Red- loving Waldo and Carmen are not going to be able to hide for very much longer.

I suppose with the growing popularity of letting people you know exactly what you're doing (status messages), when you're doing it (updates by the second), and how you're doing (instantly sharing photos), it was only a matter of time that showing exactly where you're doing came about.

The was the ever-growing trend of the FourSquare application that, with a click/ tap of a button, you could instantly post a map of where you are at that very moment. Facebook has implemented their "Places" feature in which friends (or friends of friends and anyone in any of your networks, for that matter) can find out where you are logging from. Maps, GPS coords and all. On a lighter note, don't check on your farm crops while you're at your secret lover's place! The one this about this that bugs me the most is that when this feature was implemented, the settings associated with it was defaulted into the on position. If you would like to turn off this lovely feature, log in, go to your account and notification settings, find the "Places" section towards the bottom of the list and un-check both of the boxes, This is also where you can disable many of the text message and email notifications that Facebook bombards you with every hour.

Oh, the icing on the cake is that not even an hour after the SO and I took care of the FB issues and I sent out a little message warning to a few people, he gets an email from Google Latitudes that lets him know that he was currently broadcasting via GPS on this cell phone his current whereabouts. As freakishly scary as that it, I do appreciate Google letting him know within 24 hours of it starting. /Disgusted sigh. What is the world coming to?

Alright, let's get to better news. I've been working on a mini album for a family friend and think that I may have finally finished! Here are the mats:

Metallic brads

My first set of Prima Flowers

Horse-themed Charms

 Pack of paper (I'll add the specs later)

And the suede album! Soft...
- - - - -
These are a portion of the results because I refuse to post all of the pictures for fear of insanity:

Personalizing it just a little.

Bookmark with necklace charm and jump rings put together to make a chain. Gotta love Blogger deciding to rotate images.

Flowers secure to album's magnetic enclosure.

Spaces for journaling.

I included little note cards dictating what size photos the mats each fit.

Mostly simple 4x6 prints to make finishing this album as painless as possible.

 Sweet charms and other embellishments.

Really Blogger? Really? /Sigh.

So sweet and simple.

Pretty scrap ribbon + random diamond buckle + red tape = Great cheater method bow. No knots needed!

Well, I like it. It was a fairly simplistic project to develop, putting it together was made a tad more difficult because of the fact that I'm weird. I hope they like their present! We're adding a big card signed by all of us and she also gets to pick out a pattern for a customized handmade afghan. :D

Now, I get to play even more and work on learning how to make a paper bag mini album about our kitty! Can't wait! See you tomorrow. <3

Wednesday, August 25

176. Yummy Sounds

I have been wiped since 9:30 but felt it was such a wimpy time for me to pass out, so here I am- totally reflecting upon how dumb of a thought process that was, lol. I also had no idea what to write about today because I can't seem to ponder about deep things and my mind was in such chaos that my room turned into complete chaos. I can't stand it in there right now because it is a nearly un... walkable? What?

I'll figure it out sometime this week. Or get myself killed and buried in there. Lol... >_> Until I can form comprendable... comprehensible? thoughts, here's some great music that a dear friend just tuned me into! I love how they absolutely know what I'm such a sucker for. :P

New artist obsession!!: Alex Goot

Covering one of my new favorite current songs, "Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars! Can you hear me melting? Lol.

And covering Train's "Hey Soul Sister" because we know how much I love that song!

Another new artist obsession: JRA

Covering Usher's DJ Got Us Falling In Love Again:

Kevin Lien covering Coldplay's Viva La Vida!

Tori Kelly also covering Bruno Mars's Just The Way You Are, warning she really can belt it out! :D

I think that this may be all that you can take of hearing the same songs over and over again. Hope you enjoy it and I'll see you tomorrow! <3

Tuesday, August 24

175. Packed Full

I totally started falling asleep way too early on my bed with my scalding hot laptop on my lap, let it go to to hibernate mode, and almost just rolled over to snooze for the night without updating my blog! Horror of horrors. Don't you begin to doubt that I won't crawl back in after this though. :)

It's going to take me a while to recount today's events in order to remember waht I wanted to write about, so I'll just ramble about the most recent. The SO and I made plans to grab sushi tomorrow. Here are a couple of odd things (in no particular order) about the typically ordinary occurrence between two people dating:

- We live in the middle of a desert. We naturally do not have good seafood anywhere near us.
- Our town has a generally low population of Asians. I don't know about you, but I've learned not to completely trust Asian food that did not directly involved Asians.
Yeah, I'm glaring at you Panda Expresses. I've done well to boycott you and add to the numbers that do the same.
- Local restaurant guides deem the "$$" to indicate a price range of $11-$15 dollars. Idk what good gourmet food you can get at those prices.
- They are typically all-you-can-eat buffets of raw fish. Doesn't that kinda scream at you, "We don't want you to die of acute food poisoning. We want you to explode into a million pieces of copious amounts of food poisoning!"
- I don't like the taste and texture of fish (or vegetables for that matter), so I tend not to eat much of either if I can help it.

Given all of those tidbits of information, yes,  it was the SO's idea because that's what he's been craving. He always is the gentleman and asks me first what I want before adding his own input. The moment he said that I honestly lol'ed. "Really? Really? We're in the wrong bodies. You crave such Asian foods like sushi so often and I'm sitting here dreaming about pizza, one of the most American and unhealthiest foods you could imagine." XD Yes, we did debate about how pizza is an Italian cuisine but I pointed out how they eat theirs all dignified with forks and knives and it uses a lot more fresh ingredients and not all the heavy sauces and grease that we pour into it. Lol. But, I'm being good about trying things and he hardly ever craves much. So, sushi it is tomorrow (Yes, I agreed to try some.) and within the next few days after, I get my pizza. :D I love compromising. I voted to have pizza after because if it went poorly I could at least die happy with a big ole greasy meal. :P I realize I'm dramatic and spoiled.

I tried to make my important phone calls. That means I played phone tag and it's still an ongoing game. The kids' second day back wasn't all that bad. There were a bit more meltdowns but overall well. They are too friggin' cute. They said a ton of really cute things and you realize their almost snarky comments are the result of you making assumptions and not being specific enough. Unfortunately, I can't recall any quote from the class. However! We heard a couple of kids walking down the hallway being asked, "Are you going on the blue?" There are different colored tiles in a random pattern, but one distinct row of blue tiles that the kids walk on to stay organized. One replied, "No, we're going on the bus!" There was not a beat missed and it was hilarious.

I did a little more work on their website to try to streamline it and make it more manageable but still easy to view. Gah, I'm so useless when my system has run out of caffeine. >_< Um... oh! Phone was found, safe and sound. Teehee, that rhymed. Hm. Oh yes! What I really wanted to update about, lol.

If you tend to carry a lot of rubbish (okay, fine- coupons, various cards, and potentially important receipts) in your wallet/ purse, I'm sure that it's annoyed the beejeezus out of you trying to find a particular item. I saw the FMIL starting to run into the situation yesterday and decided to get on making her a mini book/ album to store things in. I've been mulling over coupon book ideas for a few... months now and decided to throw out almost all of those ideas and start again. I hit up my YouTube and browsed through many a crafter's channels that I've recently subscribe to and found one that I felt would be quick and easy but still help out. I also then had an excuse to not only craft, but to try something new with the materials that I already owned.

I don't want to post her video without her written permission so here's a link to the Mini Album Multi-pocket Envelope Page Tutorial by Laura Denison of Following the Paper Trail. Really great stuff. I've noticed that many of the videos are paper bag or envelope mini's. This particular one starts off with long business envelopes as its base. Too cool, right? Here are some pics (bear with me, Blogger turned them sideways):

First page of three pages of the booklet!

Some flowers and gardening tools because she loves plants!

Each page has four pockets!

I tried using this purple because it reminded me of SU's Rich Razzleberry that she currently adores. Her ultimate favorite color is blue.

How cute is that?! She loved it but we have yet to see what that baby can hold. Lol. I love how you don't have to flip back to the beginning once you've gotten to the end, it can keep going! The tabs (which are actually at the top) are 2-sided pockets that I think will do just well with holding a some chosen business/ membership cards. I can't wait to see it being used to it's full potential. Honestly, it did not involve a lot of paper. I was, however, as liberal as I have ever been with my mono-adhesive. I'm still mulling over an ATG gun. /sigh. 

That was pretty early this morning so that may explain why I had to rewind my day in order to get to it. I guess I could have just looked in my camera too... lol. Oh, well. :P We also finally got a monsoon storm on our side of town today! It wasn't a super intense one, but some of the washes were running and there were some wicked winds, lightning, and thunder for a while. There were even puddles! Quite exciting. I'm ready for all of the rain to dump so I can be in awe and then rejoice because the oppressive humidity will finally be gone again. :D

Ha ha, see you tomorrow. <3

Monday, August 23

174. Not In A While

It has been a bit of time since I've temporarily misplaced my cell phone. I may be slightly notorious for it. And wallets and ID cards... :( This is quite the shame since I was going to make a few pretty important phone calls within the next 24 hours. We shall see what pans out tomorrow morning. Then I'll let myself completely panic.

Some of the kids started school today. Still adorable, still a handful. Only one student managed to make it to the morning class today. :( So, for the sake of trying to emphasis the actual routine, I played the part of Student #2. :D I am either getting way too old or incredibly out of shape. There was one portion of the day where we went to the easy playground for about 10 -15 minutes. I didn't remember that my knees and back could ache like that while in motion! XD Climbing into tunnels and going down slides was a lot of work! :P

The afternoon was a whopping 9 kids. Controlled-chaos is the best way to describe it. All of them are returning students that retained the routine pretty darn well over the summer. Many of them handled the high stress situation incredibly well! It's great to see how big and smarter they've grown. Like wildflowers.

My brother started his higher education today by being involved in a car accident almost right in front of campus. Everyone was fine and the cars are not totaled. Police took two hours to arrive. That poor thing. It really killed me for the rest of the day to not be there for him. Thankfully, he doesn't traumatize as easily as I do. The SO agrees. :P Class-wise he said was fine. His friend that also goes to the same place saw a total of 8 accidents and 22 cars involved today (one of which was my brother!). Good gravy, why don't they have someone posted out there? It's like right off a turnpike and they know that the lanes are all crazy and that its the first day. Ugh. :(

To say the least, I'm still wound up and it's been a few days now. I'm going in one more time this week tomorrow. The SO asked if I thought I would wake up and make it in and quite frankly, I said no, but I'll find a way. Good way to start, right? : )

Throwing together a mini album that is made of long business envelopes. I found a tutorial online and have been replaying the video footage over and over. I'll post pictures once I'm satisfied.

During this time, I've also been repeating:

Kevin Lien's older recording but newer posting cover of Coldplay's Viva La Vida. Love the song, love the cover. Psalm verse was a little unexpected, but kinda added a nice tough to the overall product.

Need to drag my butt to bed. See you tomorrow! <3

Sunday, August 22

173. "Not Ugly, Just Normal"

I'm a little on edge today because all of my recent stressing out has gotten to me a bit. So, to make a long story short:

 I ate a Klondike bar after it melted and we re-froze it, 

The SO was the chef tonight for dinner! *Gasp*

Thrown on the grill after marinating,

Yummy, yummy steaks.

I asked if these were his famous 'ugly steaks' that I've been hearing so much about and received the reply, "They're not ugly, just normal steaks." Lol. 

Before that there was a trip to Michaels where it was apparently Torture Your Child With Help From Your Entire Family Day. My favorite. ...Ugh. We grabbed just the bare supplies we needed in order for us to put together a quick birthday for a family friend. I've started working on it a little bit and I am really enjoying how the project is turning out. Tomorrow is the first day for the kids that I'm going to observe and volunteer with. Let's hope that all goes well! 

Talk to you then! <3

Saturday, August 21

172. Seeing Red

I've been so frustrated and angry today that I was seeing red while looking at blue.

It's several hours later and the curtains are not finished. We worked nonstop. Grr!

Once we made the decision that we were going to tackle the whole project this weekend/ today, we headed back to use the sewing machine that FMIL brought out for us. It's actually a few decades old and attached to a table that has had a bunch of plants on it for quite some time now. So, we figure out all sorts of cutting measurements and plans to go about piecing it all together and get to work slicing up the curtain and its blackout liner. Then, we're starting to figure out the tension in the machine and how to line up everything and pin it in place. Lots of trial and error, but that goes fairly well. That accursed machine, not so much.

It has a lever that is typically a side knee press but can be converted into the now typical foot pedal. To be kind, the lever has been quirky for quite some time. I want to just say it just has a lot of character and it's own personality, but I'm just going to say that it's a dirty ole sonuvagun. It was quite a bit of work and group effort to create the bobbins that go underneath and it would not generate enough force or whatever to push the fabric through. So, when it did work, I had to manually tug the fabrics through and pause every couple of inches to remove the place-holding straight pins. Oh, we also went on a little adventure to try to find straight pins too that also failed miserably. Luckily, after some digging around, we found more than enough.

We finally managed, after a decent amount of effort, two seams and one hem. Then it all went down hill. The needle refused to move automatically anymore and we had to force it if we tried to get it to go manually. After a while and dissecting the sewing machine, we finally figured out that one of the rubber belts had stretched out over time to the point where it would not fit properly on the gear. Just like in a car. It took another almost hour to piece everything back properly. Maybe by detaching it from the table and bringing it into one of those sewing machine-vacuum repair shops, it can be fixed.

Either way, We still have 7 hems, 30 tabs, and a few magnets to sew into place. It was almost a productive day. Almost. But I swear I knew better too. Oh well, what's done is done. And what isn't is the universe's fault. Lol.

I pretty much have nothing else to report or write about today because I'm still seething from this endeavor. So, see you tomorrow. <3

Friday, August 20

171. That's The Time?

It was only a half past ten and I seriously felt as if it was already past 1 o'clock in the morning. That's when you know you're either old, really tired, or both.

Looking through my camera, I realized that I forgot to mention the beef rigatoni casserole dish that FMIL and I whipped up yesterday. The recipe was for 6 servings in a 8x8 baking dish, but we may have doubled the length and used penne instead of rigatoni and sharp cheddar instead of mozzarella. :P So, pretty much did whatever we wanted to make a pasta dish with cheese and a meat sauce. :D It was pretty yummy regardless. Here are some pictures before we each devoured our scoops. Go figure after all of that and making some salad and mixed vegetables we only each had one helping.

Mmm... I liked it. Didn't love it, but liked it. Would eat more and maybe make it again in the future. I tidied up a bit more before the SO came to pick me up to go hunting for a DIY home decor project. We wanted to make a curtain for his room because the morning light is blinding and it's the hottest room in the house. So, I did a bit of research on different types of curtains, diff methods of making them, various types of fabric combinations, and numerous ways of determining how much fabric you actually need in order to complete the ordeal.

Ace Hardware stores are simply amazing. They have such a vast selection and I have never been able to find a single thing to complain about in terms of service there. Extremely helpful people that seem to have a radar tuned into the moment you get that confused look on your face or start to panic from being overwhelmed. We got a wooden rod and drywall screws and I finally made a copy of the house key. The key has a picture of blue lightning on it. :D

The SO learned that Kohls is like Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall stores today. We then went to JoAnn fabrics where we poured over the discounted options for a blackout liner and fabric that we could bear. Eventually we flipped through one of their books to figure out a solid way of determining how many yards we would need to cover the wide window. Good stuff! So much math involved, lol, but I actually managed to do a good deal of it mentally and accurately! So proud of myself. XD

We've installed the rod and will work on digging out the sewing machine later this weekend because that's a project into and upon itself. Lunch was had at Yokohama Rice Bowl which was yummy. During the hotter part of the day we relaxed and watched "Man, Woman, Wild" and "Dual Survival" on the Discovery Channel (which is one of the best things ever!). I also was crafting during this time on my Cricut, prepping cute embellishment for the cards I plan to make since my stash is almost pathetically low.

Here is the mess I made:

It's really not nearly as bad as it could have been. Actually, that's kind of scary to think about, lol.

Some of the die cuts that I was working with. It looks like some commercial about spaying and neutering your pets and adopting from your local shelter. :D So much cute.

That's all from me today. Hopefully, we can really get to work on the curtains tomorrow! See you then! <3

Thursday, August 19

170. Plan Ahead

I, for some horrible and nonexistent reason, only got about four hours of sleep last night. Then I had a ten and a half hour day at school. I only feel that I was volunteering for a small portion of that time and just taking up space for the majority. Just a little painful, I hate feeling useless. I did everything I could think of, studied, got ahead on some school work, tried to gather more materials for when the kids start next week, etc. There was just nothing else I could do without making a complete nuisance of myself or interfering with much more important tasks.

At one point, I was flipping through my planner and setting more personal goals and adding more memos for myself. So... I may have half planned out when I might want to make and mail out next year's Christmas cards. Oh yes, I had enough spare time to go there. Lol.

I'm really a sad sad creature sometimes. XD

That pretty much sums up my day. Oh, and one of the very first things that I said today: "Caffeine is my very best friend right now. *nurses Dr. Pepper can*"

Hm... there was something else I have been forgetting to mentioned that I really want to... Oh yea! The collector's edition for the latest expansion pack for our game was announced about... two days ago? Nice art book, deck from their trading card game, soundtrack, exclusive in-game pet, etc. The SO and I were discussing our mild *snorts* obsession and half reasoned that by this point, it would almost makes sense for one of us to get it. I thought we half agreed that he should, if we were to do this at all. We both have already reserved our copies of the regular release. When the SO stopped by for a visit the other day, he tossed a receipt my way. It was that showed our $5 down reservations being canceled and two copies of the collector's edition being paid off in full. Holy cow! Incredibly sweet and random gesture. We're calling it my Merry Birthday present for this year. XD

:D Hooray! This will be my first one and I can't wait! We're going to blast the epic battle music while driving down the street running errands one day. It shall be a grand old time. :D

Teehee, well that's my story for today. See you tomorrow! <3

Wednesday, August 18

169. Mini Haul

I'm a little fried today. So to make a potentially long story short: some studying done, some tidying, some ants today, watched Wall-E because it's an amazing movie, and some time during the day stopped by Michael's! Here is my mini haul:

The stamps were in the dollar bins and actually originally the traditional wood mounted. I was tearing them off their blocks and peeling off the stickers during the drive home. :D The clear block was a dollar too. I already have one that size, but its covered in sticky tack for the sake of rubber stamps that don't stick naturally. I love owls, the spider is too cute, and the mummy looks just like the one that is in a children's book I bought at a book fair at the end of last school year. I have yet to test them out, so I hope they work well enough.

These are some of my favorite goodies right now. My VersaMark watermark stamp pad and embossing powders. I have an opaque metallic Sterling Silver and transparent Kaleidoscope. The latter is a sparkly white with prismatic blue and purple sparkles. I have yet to try it, but I think it'll mostly be the blue-purple sparkles that will be seen. I used the silver on 60 cards and if you didn't know how much I started with, you would never be able to tell that I even used any! These bottles are going to last me forever and a day. Just for roughly $3.50, holy cow.

:) Mmk, back to studying/ cleaning. Yum, lol. See you tomorrow! <3

P.S. Happy Birthday, Adin! :D Miss you and hope you like your mail. <3 <3

Tuesday, August 17

168. War Cry

DIE! Diediediediediediedie! *squirt squirt*

This has been my battle cry for literally the past two hours. I am livid and my anger is directed at nature. Yes, you, nature. You are currently on my crap list right now.

I went to grab a drink a few minutes past nine and I remember noticing the time and realizing that I could give the SO a call with unlimited nighttime minutes. I went back to start tidying up my desk and some of my craft paper for about an hour.

Let me just say that I am so glad that I don't sit like a normal person in chairs. I usually have my legs propped up somehow or find myself sitting half cross-legged. All of my teachers just let it go after they realized I was more comfortable like that and still paid attention, lol.

Well, I start to get up to grab a refill of my drink by putting my feet down on the legs of my wheeling chair. For some reason, I looked down and saw a pile of ants swarming a piece of either white cheddar popcorn I finished off before I got my last drink or the cereal I had eaten before that. There were so many black ants that I couldn't even tell. The bulk extended a good inch all the way around whatever the food piece was with a trail that went alongside my slippers and the half open door.

UGH! Ants are one of the few living things that I have no remorse over killing. I have learned that the all-purpose cleaner Fantastik makes for a great bug killer. My painted concrete floor is pretty clean because of this ordeal.

Over the past couple of days, the kitchen trashcan has been cleaned and rinsed out and placed on top of a dining chair to keep ants away and it has been working thus far. All the indoor pet bowls have been placed in deep dishes full of water. Even the sliding glass door that shares a wall with my room has it's threshold covered in chili powder to deter the little buggers from coming in. We hesitating putting ant hill/ queen killing agents in the backyard because of the doggie. However, I am so peeved that I'm still killing stragglers hours later.

Add this to that stupid phantom bug syndrome that you get after dealing with tons of bugs where you swear you feel something crawling on you. Grr! I found out that the crumb wasn't even as big as I thought it was, there were just that many ants and they were just that desperate for food. Not promising for kitchen over the next couple of days with the impending monsoon storms. And now because of this one incident, I'm going to be finding and killing stragglers for days.

I am just not having a good day.

It started off with a mis-communication with my program of study that I had to play phone tag with a couple of people to sort out. To my knowledge, that will be officially fixed by mid-day tomorrow. I did some reading for and on my classes and that's still a bit overwhelming, but at least I've made some progress. My planner that I purchased yesterday is really helping. I have birthdays written in, holidays circled, due dates for both classes mapped out, bill payments starred in red, and I'm starting to fill in personal weekly goals. It helps settle my brain sometimes seeing it written out. One of the things I'm doing differently with the personal goals is to make them more concrete, more specific, and more reasonable. :D We'll see how well I do.

Hm. I guess my day wasn't completely irksome. Oh! We saw this today in the backyard:

A big ol' snake! We don't believe it was a rattler, I didn't really see anything on his tail and according to one of the boys, the head wasn't the proper shape. We did lose it in the bushes while trying to usher it out of the yard, so the doggie stayed inside for a while. The good news was that it wasn't acting aggressive. Man, it was about... two feet in length? I'm not entirely sure since I didn't dare get too near.

Sigh. I am still so frustrated. I can barely get anything else done because I'm constantly killing bugs literally every time I look at the floor. :( I hope I can get some sleep tonight knowing what's going on around me. Sigh. See you tomorrow. <3

Monday, August 16

167. Gah!

I should totally be in bed right now. But you know, one that doesn't have two pieces of luggage and a laundry basket full of stuff on it. I mean I really should be in bed right now.

I spent this afternoon in a nervous frenzy and annihilated a corner of the living room with my craft things. I tried to crank out a few cards but the hot and humid air was vaguely suffocating today. I figured out how to access my online classes that officially started today and was soon overwhelmed while sifting through the extensive syllabuses and rubrics. What on earth have I gotten myself into?! I'm in a mild panic right now, just thinking about it all.

Without a printer readily available, I couldn't quite wrap my head around all the due dates. So, during some grocery shopping, I tried to find a planner. The one I found earlier today was from 2009. :( I'm not quite sure how I managed to do anything without one, but then I remembered that I've been keeping dates straight with a dry erase calendar on my wall (I like to take a picture of it at the end of the month for reference sake) and having enough details in my blog or handy dandy notepad to remind me of anything I needed. However, with this much planning ahead and how I'm trying to keep on top of my ever-growing pile of bills (Eek!), I need to have a planner to jot things down in on a whim while being able to visually see the relation in time between events.

Gah! I have my work cut out for me. Courses that are traditionally taught inside a classroom over a 16-week period I decided to take online crammed into 6 week sessions? What was I thinking, what would spawn such a program, and... I don't even know what the "and" is right now, lol. *Deep breath* I can do this. I have to do this. I paid to do this. Ahh!!! >_< This is piled on top of the fact that a few of my recent payments to different things have had big issues with being processed lately. Normally, everything goes smoothly and is done within three to four days. I'm coming up on weeks now. What is going on?!

In my highly anxious state, I made a bunch of cards and sent them out without even snagging one picture. How uncharacteristic of me. I didn't even realize it until about 3.5 of the 5 were already sealed and taped shut. :( On that note, I hope everyone likes them!

I'm not quite sure if I was going to post anything in particular today. /frown. Hm... nope. I can't think of anything else, my head is spinning. I feel the urge to gnaw on something now too, lol. *looks back at bed* I really don't want to get into the habit of just tossing things from spot to spot and not putting them away, but tonight may have to be an exception. :(

Well, I'm off and to all the people/ parents of people who are starting school today or next Monday: Best of luck! Hopefully, you won't need as much as I do and that the whole transition goes smoothly! See you tomorrow. <3

Sunday, August 15

166. Happy Birthday To Me!

Hooray! I'm getting older! O_o... Lol.

Today started off with trying to sleep in for as long as possible before the light and heat of the sun drove me crazy and out of bed. I made sure to answer each and every text and online message wishing me a happy birthday throughout the day. The SO's mom and I went to a SU workshop hosted by one of her coworkers today too. She has three gorgeous kitties there. One is actually the mother of our cat, another is one of his sisters, and another just kind of looks like a pirate. XD

Our kitty's mommy.

His tiny sister.


That was a lot of fun with homemade lemonade, sangria, and tacos. We used a take-home class kit full of goodies from the current Summer Mini Catalog so there were lots of rich and fun tropical colors. The projects were a cute little 3" x 3" card, a sweet 3.5" x 5" card, and a coordinating paper purse to put it all in. After figuring out all the little gadgets and techniques, we all had pretty different and personalized versions of the same items! That's one of the best things about having these workshops, it's truly amazing how versatile the products and projects are. I even got a little birthday gift and I believe we each won a door prize. Mine was a little Stampin' Spot in Basic Black with a little wooden stamp that says: "happy birthday (to you)". XD Too cute. We wrapped up the workshop with contemplating and putting in orders while enjoying some homemade cupcakes and Neapolitan ice cream. The ladies even sang to me. Thank you! :D Good company, good food, and good times. : )

We headed back to meet up with more of the family and found that one of the tires was pretty flat. After doing our best to fill it up with air, we had the boys take a look at it and they found a nail that was big and embedded in the back tire. :( We took another car to a Chinese buffet for my birthday dinner and it was pretty yummy! We all decided that comfy clothes and stuffing ourselves was the proper way to go. :P

 Six different kinds of chicken, fried biscuits/ doughnuts, a plate of fruit, and ice cream makes for a very happy blogger.

We got back and tried to change the tire, but the driveway is all gravel and the car actually tipped off the jack! >_<  The SO managed to save it and with all the lightning surrounding us and rain starting up, we decided to just leave it be and hope for the best until tomorrow afternoon. A few of us ended up watching the monsoon storm in the backyard. So much thunder and lightning from all directions! Unfortunately, we didn't get rain with the storms just wrapping around the mountains. It apparently poured for a little while in areas across our end of town. I wasn't in any today. :( Maybe it's because I tried to dress up a little and the universe decided not to make me a sopping wet mop on my birthday. I probably would have gotten sick again if that happened anyways. Lol.

I have some footage of the storm, but it's 15 minutes long and would take forever for me to get through and I want to get some sleep eventually tonight, ha ha! Overall, today was a pretty darn good day. My belly is pretty darn happy. Yay!

Thank you again, everyone, for the birthday wishes! It all really meant a lot to me. See you tomorrow! <3

Saturday, August 14

165. Hot Tamales

Hot tamales sounds a lot better than super enchiladas. It's on another level. :P

If you can't tell, I'm already deliriously tired and I'm not sure why. Today was my momma's birthday. :D I pretty much started my day by trying to call her and wish her a happy birthday, lol. There was a little phone tag involved, my brother trying to chastise/ guilt me into telling her the sentiment myself when I was already trying to, and finally getting to speak to her! She is a quite busy lady who is pretty bad at the whole phone thing, ha ha!

So that was quite the relief to finally chat with her a little bit and catch up. I heard a couple of stories about my family (including our dog!) heading downtown and out of the way to buy what probably amounted to over a hundred of koi fish. Whoa. I have no idea whether or not if the numbers were exaggerated. I never know with my family, lol. We have a new fish pond that my brother and dad built in their backyard and I guess it's ready to take on a lot more fish now!

Afterward, the SO and I went to a local, hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint that we have been craving lately. It was actually 100 degrees out by the time we were seated. The building across the street displaying the time and temperature near its roof said so. :D It's really good food for a super cheap price. Nice, greasy, and made to order breakfast goodies. Mmm... It is also a pretty tiny location and really busy so the noise was borderline overwhelming. With it being that hot that early on in the day, we decided to postpone the rest of our potential errands indefinitely.

When we got back to the house, this is one of the sights we were greeted with:

Aww... isn't he ours or what? Sleeping on the foot rest that his daddy likes to use and using a remote control as a pillow. I'm not quite sure how comfortable that could be, but who am I to say anything about that? I'm fairly certain that I've done it myself a couple of times through the years, lol. Such a sweet boy. XD

Later on, after much rest and relaxation, some of the family convened and we helped out making FFIL's famous super enchiladas. I made a nuisance of myself and asked a ton of questions about what the ingredients where, how to prep them, and what all the steps were. It seems that no one but he knows how to make them in their entirety but we have all been determined to learn! A few minutes after everything was ready, I had managed to type up an alphabetized ingredients list, the steps, and even added a few pictures I took tonight to the recipe. I printed out a few copies and hopefully the SO's dad doesn't have to be harassed constantly from eight different directions in order for this meal to be made. :D

Here are some pics of just before they went into the oven and after the eggs were added. I still have yet to catch a picture of the pico de gallo we make for tortilla chips nor the dish with the last bit of sauce spread on top. :( Hunger = picture fail.

Eat your heart out! The pico de gallo was so good and made from diced tomatoes, green onion, cyrano peppers, and cilantro. The fried corn tortillas were dipped in a diced onion, roaster garlic, chili pepper and powder, and tomato sauce. Afterward, it was covered in layers of ground beef, lettuce, cheese, and more dipped tortillas. The eggs were added later on and the final touch was to pour on a little more of the sauce before chowing down. Of course, the recipe I have written down is quite a bit more extensive. :P An intense and fun dish that was annihilated in seconds.

Alrighty, I really am getting old. :P My birthday is tomorrow and I'm going to a SU workshop and possibly doing... something for dinner. Lol, details details. We may or may not figure something out eventually. See you tomorrow! <3
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