Well this won’t do

Over two weeks since my last post. So this will be a random collection of thoughts and whatnot.

I still can’t watch anything but Schitt’s Creek. Well, okay, I watched the Emmys last night, but only the first hour, after SC won everything. That was delightful.

We evacuated to my mom’s for a non-hurricane. I think packing up all our stuff for a few days was enough to throw Sally off course. But on the bright side, we got some Grandee and Larry time! (Or Grandee and Larry got some us time!)

I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of a new dishwasher. Did we need a new dishwasher? I mean, our current one works, but it sucks. I am very excited about a third rack. It is definitely not Samsung.

Ziggy is still really cute.

I splurged on the fabric I really wanted for my coat, so I guess I’m making another one! Well, not the same pattern. And I think I’m really going to make a cape.

This made me giggle,

and then this did too.

Work is good. We’re hiring Happiness Engineers again, which means lots of work for me, but that’s not a bad thing, especially since I have more people to help me now. I am very grateful for my team at work and everyone I work with. But a few more hours in the day wouldn’t hurt.

I have been stress shopping a bit. Got a Vabroom, which is fun but naturally not as useful as one might hope.

I have also been dreaming about remodeling downstairs, but that’s just because a friend of mine is getting a new kitchen. Well. A girl can dream, right?

This might have been the most boring post I have ever written. Officially. My bad.

Sewing project: Chilton Trench

Work has been very busy lately, and it’s only going to get busier for the foreseeable future, so I decided to take this week off to get a bit of a mental break while I can. Of course, after I made the decision, hurricanes started barrelling towards us, which makes for a less than relaxing break, but we have been very fortunate with neither of the storms hitting New Orleans.

Anyway, since I knew I wasn’t going to spend my week off traveling (HA) I decided I needed to tackle a complicated sewing project. (I probably should have tackled cleaning my house, but that’s no fun.) Anyway, I’ve done a bathing suit, so not that. How about a coat? I’ve made the Pona jacket before, but it’s unlined. I mean a real winter(y I mean this is Louisiana after all) coat!

After looking at a million patterns, I decided on the Cashmerette Chilton Trench. I didn’t necessarily want a trench coat, but I couldn’t find any other patterns I like better so, why not? I knew the instructions would be excellent.

I really would have loved to make this out of wool or a wool blend with a luxurious satin lining, but in the end that would have been cost-prohibitive, considering the amount of fabric this coat requires. At least not for my first time out. And I couldn’t find what I really wanted anyway. So I decided to go with a plum herringbone cotton flannel from Joann’s. It’s a lot nicer than you might expect and only $10/yard (before the inevitable coupons.) And then I went with a dark teal matte satin for the inside. (Same price.) Once I bought the fabric, buttons, shoulderpads, and interfacing, I’d already spent $100, and it probably would have been double that for wool. Maybe next time!

I calculated I spent about 20 hours working on this (or four seasons of Schitt’s Creek.) About four hours cutting out pattern pieces and fabric, and then the rest sewing. And at least one of those hours was fretting over putting the sleeves in backwards (put one in upside down somehow at one point) and how to fix the hem/lining situation. (If I’m being honest, I’m still trying to figure that one out.)

Like I said, the instructions are very thorough and well-written, so just by taking it one step at at time, I was able to get through it. I have to thank David, Alexis, Moira, and Johnny for keeping me company throughout this journey.

And now pics!

Some various full length shots. Belted! Unbelted! Open! The back! With ill-advised purple shoes! And lots of loose threads I realize now I should have removed but oh well!

And now some detail shots like the pockets, the epaulettes, the chest shield (what?), the sleeve belts (trench coats are weird), and the beautiful lining. Love the colors here!

So now I just need the temp to drop at least 20 degrees so I can wear it. It won’t be warm enough on its own if the temp drops super low but that doesn’t happen very often anyway. And it’s roomy enough to layer underneath.

Bring on fall!

First day of 7th grade!

I don’t need to tell you, it sure looked different from years past!

Can you guess who wore the new shirt?

And their classrooms:

They’re all in the same class this year to make life a bit easier and safer, if they do end up back in a real classroom. I guess we’ll see.

And for reference, here they are on the first day at their school, 9 years ago.

Random Tuesday post

I took part in a blogging workshop at work today, and now I am feeling inspired to post.

So let’s see, what have we been up to?

Haircuts!

The boys finally got real haircuts (first time since February or so) and now I feel okay about getting one. We went to a salon owned by the mom of one of their classmates, and everyone was masked and spread out, and it felt fine.

But even more exciting is that I am getting a haircut tomorrow! Mine hasn’t been cut since last September. Of course it was supposed to be cut in March for St. Baldrick’s but that didn’t happen, and it’s been rescheduled twice but as of now it won’t happen until next year and I canNOT wait that long.

I wanted to take a picture of my hair looking as long as possible for a Facebook post so I could get feedback on how much to get cut off tomorrow, and well, that backfired. I had to blowdry it and use a hot brush and a flat iron and a curling iron just to get it looking decent enough to share, and the feedback was largely “just a trim!”

I mean, first of all, thanks for the compliments but you know I never wear my hair down, it’s too much work and it’s too hot. And it’s a nightmare to wash. And it’s so heavy it gives me tension headaches. So I will probably go shoulder length.

My hair after making it look nice:

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If I just let it airdry:

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So yeah. Not great. Also I had to wear sunglasses because I forgot I put mascara on yesterday for a school meet and greet and taking it off is more trouble than it’s worth. But also I’m v glam.

In other news, remember how I mentioned that I was making a sourdough starter? Well, it worked! I’m kind of intimidated by it but I used this recipe sorta* to make a loaf of bread yesterday and by golly it worked**!

*This recipe had like forty gajillion steps and I was required to do something like every half hour for an ENTIRE day and I’m sorry, no bread is worth that, so I just like, let my mixer knead it for a while and called that a win. Also I took it out about 20 minutes sooner than the recipe said because it was about to scorch.

**I mean, it was tasty, but it was a very wet dough, maybe because I skipped the half-hourly folding or whattheheckever but it resulted in having to use a lot of flour at the shaping phase so there was a line of flour in the middle.

School starts on Thursday (at home) and I have three desks all set up for the boys. I just got a box of uniforms in the mail that I ordered when there was a sale over the summer in a fit of optimism, so I will definitely make them wear them for a picture. We joked about walking over to the bus stop at 7am but that would just make us all cry.

I took next week off work. Not for any reason except if I don’t do it now, it might be a while before I can. So I’m going to tackle a big sewing project. My motivation to sew has been pretty low lately, but maybe this will help! I’m making a Cashmerette Chilton trench in this plum herringbone flannel with a dark teal satin lining. It’ll definitely keep me busy!

Do I want to make the short or long version? Who knows?

And to close the post, Linus’s snowball before it turned into brown minty-fruity sludge.

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12 and 2/3

What are they up to right now? Enjoying their new room, even still keeping it neat! Playing Football Manager and Fortnite. Not doing enough summer reading. About to start reminding themselves what math is to prep for a placement test. Though surely keeping track of football team standings and scores and all that stuff is keeping their brains sharp? Mmhmm. School starts virtually in a couple of weeks, so I’m frantically trying to get three desks set up around the house.

It’s pa-jammy, you know

Today I did my 200th Peloton ride, and I got a shout out! It was very exciting, except the instructor said “pee-why-jammy” and after posting about it on Facebook, I now realize everyone thinks it’s either pee-why-jammy or pie-jammy and it’s neither, it’s pa-jammy. Like pajamas! That’s the whole point! I guess spelling it the British way was the problem. Except the instructor who gave me the shout out is British! So who knows.

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I guess I should have spelled it like that.

I registered my domain in March 2002 and only now am realizing no one knows how to pronounce it. But it’s okay. It’s not meant to be spoken aloud, right? It’s fine.

So what else? I started a sourdough erm starter. It’s only day 2. I’m fairly sure this is not going to go well. That reminds me, I should water my plants.

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I hung up the boys’ soccer medals, and Ziggy got a dog bed for their room, which he has been sleeping in! Very very very very very very very very cute.

The LED lights make everything look funky.

One night for dinner I made these zucchini fritters that the boys didn’t like. I was adorably optimistic. Alas.

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This beer can is ridiculously pretty.

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Also yummy.

The end!

 

The boys’ updated room {ta-da!}

Finally! We are (almost, nearly) finished with the boys’ room makeover. Since there wasn’t going to be on a vacation this summer, I figured, why not spend that money on sometime more tangible. And the boys’ room was ripe for a makeover. The last time I did anything substantial to their room was 7 years ago when their beds were built.

Now. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself NOT to paint the room dark navy and the beds dark gray. (Well, one would hope I’d use my time travel for more important purposes, but trust me, this weekend there was nothing more important.)

Let’s get to the good stuff first…before and after pictures. I admit, their room was in quite a state when I took the before pictures. But if I’d waited for them to clean it up just so I could take before pictures, well, I wouldn’t have paint in my hair right now.

Okay, so I didn’t do a great job taking pics of the same angles, but you get the idea. Here are a few more:

Here is what we did:

  • painted the walls Alabaster (Sherwin Williams) and the trim (beds included) ultra reflective white (SW.) I wish I’d gone with Behr paint, but SW was having a sale. I feel like the good Behr paint covers better and is about the same price as Sherwin Williams Cashmere on sale. Oh well.
    Aside: on the advice of a friend, I got a paint sprayer and it really helped the primer go on quickly. And it was fun. But I didn’t want to put expensive paint in it (it has to be thinned) so it didn’t get as much use as I would have hoped. But it’s nice to have.
  • got these LED lights. This was basically what the room was designed around. They wanted light walls to show off the LED lights better. Ha!
  • got a rug from Amazon. It’s soft and squishy and was super cheap. We don’t do rugs in our house, so I didn’t want to spend a ton in case it didn’t work out.
  • removed all of the posters and (sniff, sniff) stickers from the walls. The original theme of the room (when the boys were 3, mind you) was “under the sea” so there were sea creatures everywhere. Linus was particularly sad to have to remove these Easter stickers he got from his preK-4 teacher.
  • took down the ratty “curtains” that have been up forever (really just pieces of fleece on clips) and got light blocking 2.5″ faux wood blinds.
  • put a set of their cubicles that were next to the old dresser into the closet instead. IMG_7192
  • bought a new dresser! Real furniture! The one that was there before was a hand me down from a friend. I really think this was the first piece of furniture I’ve ever bought that didn’t have to be put together. (I mean, I love IKEA, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted something a bit more grown up, and that I could see in person first.)
  • used some of the 46 zillion soccer jerseys the boys have to decorate the wall behind the dresser. Hung their team scarves on the walls around one of the windows.
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  • moved the TV and Xbox to the dresser so the desk can be used for school, since it will be at least partially virtual this year.
  • got a butterfly chair from Target to make it more comfortable to rot their brains.

There are still a few things left to do, but I am burned out, so they’ll have to wait a bit.

  • install hooks on the back of the door for coats and jackets
  • re-hang a shelf with hooks in the desk nook for all of their medals and whatnot
  • hang the soccer team photo

I think that’s it? Overall, we are all very happy with the updated room. But I swear, I am never painting again.

Mid-month check in

I mean. It’s mid-July. Whatever. Time has no meaning. Certainly the date doesn’t. But here’s what we’ve been up to, anyway.

We finally saw Grandee and Larry again this weekend. Steak was eaten. Yum.

I made Oliver a Manchester City mask.

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No idea what’s going on with school.

Since we can’t go on vacation, we are re-doing the boys room starting tomorrow. Here are a few very very very messy before pics. There will be a full post after.

Here’s a bit of the dresser we bought. This is the first piece of non-IKEA furniture I think I’ve ever purchased myself. (Or non-Walmart or Target, or that I don’t have to put together myself!)

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Ziggy is still cute.

I got a plant for my desk.

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I haven’t been sewing much lately, but I’m about to start sewing masks again for school. Blah. (I mean, who knows what school will look like, but I’m helping prepare just in case.)

Anyway, stay tuned for the boys’ room before and after!

What’s up?

Same old, same old.

Lots and lots of work.

Sewing:

Made myself another Artists Box Top out of the Liberty lawn I bought in May. Cotton lawn is by far my favorite fabric in the world. So light but crisp and easy to sew and doesn’t wrinkle horribly. Perfect for summer. Also I’m rather proud of this one because I made my own facings instead of trying to use bias tape, which I’ve never been able to find a good tutorial for using it on a v-neck.

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I also made George another button down shirt for Father’s Day. I couldn’t find any more Doctor Who fabric, but I found this one covered in cocktails at a local sewing store. (I had to make an appointment to shop. I felt v important.)

And I made myself this Holyoke sundress from Cashmerette. The top ended up a little big, and I’m not super comfortable with my arms out like this, but I’ll get over it when the temp is 100. This one is made out of a linen/rayon blend.

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Baking:

Bagels that looked funky but tasted good.

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Dinner rolls that look and taste amazing.

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Beignets from scratch!

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The boys and I ate at a restaurant for the first time since March! We went to Tartine, which friends of our own. It was delightful and the food was delicious and nice to feel sorta normal.

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Premier League games started up again, so now it’s even harder to get the boys to focus on summer reading.

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And when they’re not watching soccer or avoiding reading, they’re playing Minecraft with their cousins, which warms my heart.

My cilantro is practically thriving.

And Ziggy is as ridiculously cute as ever. He got a new collar! And I got a lick to the face!

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Until next time….

What matters right now

I have been thinking a lot this week. But not really posting. I’m so paranoid about being performative that I risk instead seeming uncaring to my Black friends. But really I’m trying to educate myself. Bought some books. Started reading and underlining the parts that I need to stick in my brain. Made some donations. Talking to the boys about the privilege we possess. Trying desperately to be learn how to be an anti-racist. Trying desperately not to do the wrong thing and accidentally hurt someone. Just writing this post seems self indulgent and I’m probably doing this all wrong.

But I just wanted to say something. To share where my heart is right now.

I’m reading this book.

Stocked up on summer reading for the boys with Monster and All-American Boys.

My coworker Kristine wrote this, it’s coming tomorrow.

I also did a ride on the Peloton this morning that is supposed to result in a $100 donation (for each person that rode today!) to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund.

Am I doing the right things? Doing enough? I don’t know. But I’ll keep my ears and my heart and my mind open.