Friday, May 4, 2012

On your mark, get set...

My amazing husband recently treated me to a new sewing machine. Well, insisted I stop swearing at my old machine and if that meant buying a new one then just go do it already. But I digress.

So I went to Amazon and ordered a spiffy new machine. And then went to Etsy and eBay to stock up on patterns and fabric. Which means I have set a new, unreasonable goal for myself.

This dress. In this fabric. By Tuesday. (I'm receiving the RI Dietetics Association Recognized Young Dietitian award Tuesday at the annual meeting.)

Can I do it?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Party Planning

So we have officially axed the anniversary reception. I cannot, in good concience, spend multiple thousands of dollars on a party for myself (and really, it is for me, my husband could certainly not care LESS if we have this party or not) when I have three children to provide for. That being said, my party planning days are most definately NOT over. I have simply shifted gears to the more fun, and far cheaper, third birthday party for Tadpole. (If I ever cannot be a dietitian anymore, or if ever someone is willing to pay me, I will quit my job and plan children's birthday parties. Oh the fun.)

This year we are going for a Mickey Mouse theme, since the boy is ADDICTED to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. As in, in need of an intervention addicted.

Would you like to see in pictures? I shall show..

Location (as mentioned before, I can NEVER, EVER plan an outdoor party in which I had ANYTHING to do with picking the date): Slater Park Loof Carousel in Pawtucket, RI

Cake: altered to have yellow gumballs around the layers instead of read beads of frosting, no bows, and a chocolate #3 on top.

Cupcakes: Black foil cupcake wrappers, white frosting, mickey mouse sprinkles, yellow gummy lifesavers, and red dum dums dipped in red sugar sprinkles.


And I am especially excited about the favors. I HATE giving away the bag o' garbage at birthday parties. It all ends up in the trash by the next day and it make my earth-loving green heart feel all slimely inside. Last year, I made Sesame Street crayon rolls. This year, Mickey Mouse bucket hats.

Oh, fun, fun, fun!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

HOLY !@#$%^

Thursday afternoon, I left work early so I could drive Andrew to the car dealership to pick up his new company car. (Only fair, I totaled the last one.) It went rather quickly and I found myself with an unexpected half an hour to myself. (Yipee!!) So I stopped at McDonald's and treated myself to a fountain soda and a piece of banana bread. Later on, I looked up the nutrition information for that slice of banana bread.

580 calories!!!

That is 1/3 of my daily calorie intake. Seriously? How do they manage to cram 580 calories into that 5x5 slice of bread? Pure lard?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I think this is about the point, ten years ago, that Andrew and I said, "How about ten people on top of a mountain?"

I have kind of a crappy track record of party planning and weather. In six years, I have managed to host Bear's birthday parties during a monsoon that shut down the Newport Bridge (and caused the church hall we were in to take on water), the aftermath of a hurricane and Rhode Island's first October Nor'Easter in memory. Tadpoles two parties have both been planned as outdoor parites (JUNE people!! JUNE!!) adn it has rained both days. Soo... Andrew not-so-gently suggest we look for an indoor venue to have this party since our house isn't big enough for 100 wet guests to cram into.
I am feeling very defeated by how quickly costs are adding up.
 - Venue #1 - $1250 for the space. No tables. No chairs. Still awaiting a call back regarding availability.
 - Venue #2 - $2100 for the space. Includes tables and chairs. Available Friday or Sunday, not Saturday.
 - Venue #3 - $3850 for the space. No tables. No chairs. Available Friday or Sunday, not Saturday. BUT it
    is a GORGEOUS greenhouse.
- Catering - $42 per person
- Photography - $3000 minimum
And we haven't even begun to add in rentals, flowers, centerpieces, invitations, dresses, tuxedos, music, favors, ugh.

I just wanted to host a fun party, renew my vows and celebrate my marriage with my husband and not have to feed my children ramon noodles for the next eight months in order to do so. I realize this is ridiculous. I know we DON'T have to have a big wedding-type party to celebrate our anniversary. We could go on vacation, or out to dinner, or both for far less money. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Planning the Party

Thanks to a little bit of luck, a lot of hard work and the grace of God, Andrew and I will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary this September. Our original wedding was a small, simple affair on top of Cathedral Ledge in North Conway, NH. There were ten people in attendance, including the two of us and the Justice of the Peace that officiated our little ceremony. I wore my best friends wedding dress as my something borrowed. We followed with dinner at a local restaurant in a room that I'm pretty sure doubled as a greenhouse and had dessert at the chocolate outlet next door.

We have long planned on hosting this anniversary part, though the form has changed quite a bite. At one point we thought about having an elaborate ceremony and reception (day care and private kindergarten tuition nixed that idea), we thought about renting a beach house in Maine or the Outer Banks, we thought about dragging all of our family and friends to the top of our mountain and then back to the same (HOT) restaurant for a proper reception. I am currently set on having a ceremony and reception right here in our backyard. The "yard" is a tad small so let's call it an "intimate" party. (Is it wrong of me to count on half of the invited guests to regretfully decline?)

In some ways, I am more excited about this than our original wedding. There is none of that "Oh my God, the REST of my life. Really?!?" nervousness that caused me to run out of a brownie cooking lab at URI, puking all over the front steps of Woodward Hall. (I did get a free pass on that lab. That was a bonus.) There is comfort in really knowing that I made the right decision. Hopefully, no one in my family with be placing their bets on how long it will last this time around. I think that ten years of marriage is something to celebrate, it is much more of an accomplishment to make it to this point. Pretty much anyone can make it through day one of a marriage. Also, there is less expectation of an anniversary party. It can be anything Andrew and I want. A wedding comes with so many expectations, EVERYONE has an opinion which they usually have no problem voicing, whether you want to hear it or not. This time around there is less demands as to what we are "supposed" to be doing, or maybe I am better at shrugging off dissenters, either way there is far less stress planning our anniversary party compared to our wedding. 

So anyway, the party. I'm totally in love with my ideas so far. I have been collecting #10 cans from work (my food service management professor would be so proud of me for still knowing what they are called). I plan on spray painting them a flat chocolate brown inside and out and then wrapping the outside in chocolate brown ribbon. These are going to be on the stairs of our porch, in the planter boxes in the back yard that nothing grows in, and basically all around the yard with votive candles tucked in between. Originally I had planned on a theme of wine red with brown accents but I seem to have flip flopped that somewhere along the way. I am going to fill the cans with white roses (found online for $190 for 25 dozen!!!). I also found a dress (on sale for $108!!!) but unfortunately the aforementioned daycare and private kindergarten tuition have me simply bookmarking the page and hoping it goes on such super sale again. I'm waiting on a quote from RI Rental for a few tables, chairs, tablecloths, and a dance floor. We're going to skip the DJ (no room really) and put a teenager in charge of the iPod playlists we'll make. My BFF Sarah is going to make the cake, I'm thinking chocolate with chocolate frosting, three tiers, with white chocolate roses on the tiers and fresh white roses on top. A high school classmate has agreed to be our photographer. Centerpieces will be glass bowls filled with apples.(Family apple picking trip the weekend before!) Oh, and the place cards, mini pumpkins. SO MUCH FUN!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crafters Week - Backwards

While catching up on my blog reading (and avoiding actual work at work) I stumbled across this. The second annual knitting and crocheting blog week. Since today is the last day, I decided to start with day 7's topic and work my way backwards.

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

With two young kids my crafting time is limited to say the least. I try to fit in a few stitches whenever possible. Which is probably why I always have seven or twelve projects going at once. When a project is at it's "knit until x inches from cast on row" stage, it travels well. Especially hats knit in the round. Like the pumpkin hat in my purse. A few stitches at the red light, a few more waiting for my computer to boot up, by the end of the day I've finished an entire row! Slightly more complex knitting (simple decrease and increase shaping, easily memorized lace or cables) is for when my husband and I are going somewhere together. He always drives, I always knit. It makes him a bit crazy I know. It doesn't matter where we are going or how long it will take to get there - 5 minutes to the grocery store, 10 minutes to my parents house, I knit on the way there. I always sneak in a few rows at night after the kids are in bed. This is when I do the "pay attention to me" knitting. I am usually half watching Forensic Files or some other true crime TV show at the same time.

But my absolutely favorite knitting time is vacation knitting. Thanks to a company car that comes with a company gas card we drive to wherever it is we are going on vacation. At least a month before (and sometimes earlier) I scope out possible new projects. I go to my LYS to touch and feel possible yarn choices. The week or two before vacation, I  swatch, plan, and pack my knitting bag (complete with clip on book light for nighttime driving). As soon as we back out of the driveway, I start my new project. Sometimes, I even finish it.