My desk

I have been utilizing the services of a coach at work to help me with time management and today we talked about the state of my desk and how it affects my productivity and stress levels. So my assignment at the end of today’s session was to clean off my desk, take a picture of it, and blog about it. (I was going to post it on one of our internal blogs at work, but someone did a “show your desk” thread a few months ago, so I figured I’d post it here instead. I mean, if you want to show a picture of your desk in the comments, feel free!) The blogging part is for accountability, and if you look in the menu up at the top and see all those 365 projects I did way back in the day, external validation is a powerful motivator for me. (Words of affirmation are my love language, yo.)

(Also gifts.)

I’m getting off topic.

Voila!

Somehow it looks way neater in real life. But trust me that is as clean as it gets. Hooray!

Next step: Every morning, I will spend five minutes straightening it up before starting my day. (Hopefully won’t be too necessary, but just in case.)

PS Cleaning up my desk had a beneficial side effect: that Amazon gift card had $15 on it!

Advertisements

Grand Meetup 2018 – Orlando!

Before too much time passes, I have to blog about this year’s Grand Meetup! It was my fifth, can you believe it? (In a way, it’s my sixth at Automattic, but I didn’t go to the 2013 one – but I was on trial and I sure did work my butt off while it happened.)

I hate to say it, but I wasn’t as excited about the GM this year as I have been in the past. I mean, Orlando? It’s hot, whine, whine. One of the greatest things about the GM for the past four years has been the weather. Actual fall weather! In the mountains! And the forecast for Orlando was hotter than New Orleans, bleh. And the only mountain around was Space Mountain, and I wasn’t going to be going near that. And I wouldn’t go on it even if I could (THANKS DAD FOR SCARRING ME FOR LIFE.)

On the bright side, the flight was under two hours and direct! That almost made up for the weather. I mean, not having to take two long flights to Vancouver and then sit on a bus for two hours to get to a (granted, gorgeous, luxurious mountain) resort was amazing. And I did sew all of the clothes I wore (with the exception of my bathing suit and workout clothes and one team t-shirt) so that was stressful fun.

But once I got to the airport in Orlando and started seeing friends, and then to the hotel, well, you know, it was awesome. The whole thing.

We arrived on Saturday and the opening party was around the pool at the hotel. We got fancy water bottles and fun buttons to attach to our lanyards. Needless to say, there was plenty of food and drink and lots of people to catch up with. Meanwhile, back in New Orleans, the boys were at a soccer game, and Miles scored his first goal of competitive soccer! This mama got pretty weepy at having missed it. (Thanks beer!) Sigh. But still, a great night.

Work started the next day – we spent it with our team. Actually, I spent the whole week working with my team, but some people spent other days in classes or working on projects. And then we did have some downtime for socializing. Like in the party suites. And at Disney Springs. Even went to Orangetheory one day. Continue reading

10 + 10

I’m in Orlando for this year’s Grand Meetup (which of course I’ll blog about later) so Daddy had to fill in as the photographer this month.

I am leaving my wonderful colleagues a day early because the boys have a soccer tournament this weekend, so while I am sad to miss a day with everyone here in Florida, I’m excited to see my boys again. (Oh and guess where the soccer tournament is? That’s right. Florida. I’m flying home from Florida tomorrow and I’ll be driving back to Florida with the boys in the afternoon.)

Soccer champs!

The boys’ team (with the catchy name 07B Louisiana Fire WB Red or something – you try yelling that while cheering them on) had their first tournament last weekend, and I guess I spoiled it in the title, but they won!

(Their division, I mean, which consisted of four teams.)

It was only their third, fourth, fifth, and sixth games as a team, because so many other games were rained out, so that makes their victory especially sweet.

We had to get their early Saturday for the first game. It was hot. They won! Yay! Warning: Lots and lots of photos to follow…

(Linus is 90, Miles is 91, Oliver is 92)

The second game wasn’t until late in the afternoon, so we went home and I took a little nap and they rested and ate. If I thought it was hot for the first game, that was nothing compared to the second game. It was scorching. George and I sat there sweating while the boys sat on the bench.
Continue reading

Sewing fail (but who cares?)

Back in June, when I went to Portland, I bought this beautiful knit fabric from Bolt Fabric Boutique. I got a yard – just enough to make a t-shirt out of because it was pretty pricey – somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 a yard! According to the Sinclair Cachet knit tee pattern, that’s all I needed.

IMG_4221

So, fast forward a couple of weeks, and I washed and dried the fabric and got brave enough to make my t-shirt. I was super nervous about cutting this beautiful stuff. What if I messed up? But I’d made a shirt out of this pattern already, and I liked the fit, so I was pretty confident it would work out. I laid out the back piece of the pattern on the fabric and cut it out. Then laid out the front piece and…HOLY CRAP IT DOESN’T FIT.

So I sadly piled it on my dresser and tried to figure out what to do. It sat there for months. Since the pattern had a color-blocking option, I thought about finding a coordinating solid and using that for part of it, but that made me sad. I even went as far as buying a pale pink remnant but I could never bring myself to use it. I just didn’t want to have to break up this lovely fabric.

Finally, one day, I decided I was just going to make the shirt. I was going to piece it together and use all the fabric and it would be fine. Okay, there would be some seams across it, but it would be okay. Better than wasting the fabric altogether!

So I laid the remaining pattern pieces out, and yeah, I had to make a few cuts, but I squeezed them all onto the fabric and it was fine. It was gonna be fine.

Took them up to my sewing machine to put them together and…wait, why was the top front piece not lining up with the rest of the pieces? This is very strange. I cut it on the fold as directed. I mean, sure, I’d had to put the pattern piece upside down to make it fit but…oh no…I cut it on THE WRONG FOLD.

Cue banging of head onto desk. This pattern has short dolman sleeves, so the neckline curve looks suspiciously like the curve under the arm.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 1.10.28 PM.png

Soooooo another place I had to piece it together. Right down the middle. And then right under my bust. And then a band at the bottom. Lovely.

I call it…Frankenshirt!

Fortunately:

  • the floral pattern hides it reasonably well.
  • I don’t care.
  • my beloved York pinafores hide the seams and coordinate perfectly with the print.

Behold:

img_7270
Check out all doze seams! Oh, and the cute lil’ pocket!

(Photo credit: Ellie)

I’m also going to sneak in a picture of the Blank Slate Blanc tee I made out of Harry Potter knit fabric because it’s so beyond dorky I can barely stand myself. Well, the picture even more than the shirt. I went and dug out the wand Oliver got at Universal a couple of summers ago as a prop, for goodness’ sake.

IMG_7725 2.jpg

This shirt also sat on my “unfinished” pile for ages and ages for no good reason, and I still haven’t hemmed the sleeves and I probably never will. I wonder if there’s a spell for that?

Girls’ day!

Last Thursday, I took the day off to spend with Ellie, who was in town while her parents went gallivanting around New York City with some tennis players or something.

Yes, this Ellie! ❤

IMG_9427.jpg

Okay, not exactly that Ellie. More like this Ellie:

img_7313

She’s a little taller now. I mean, 13 years does that to a person.

We dropped the boys off at school, and got beignets (her first! okay, my brother says she’s had them before but she doesn’t remember so they don’t count)

and wandered around the sculpture garden at City Park a little bit (shh it wasn’t open yet but the gates were open so we wandered around a bit and didn’t get caught – we’re such rebels!)

Then we went to get manicures. She got blue and I got red.

After that, we went to my favorite local fabric store and she picked out some blue fabric so I could make her some pants for school. With pockets! Then we went and met our cousin Lisa for lunch at this great place called Toast. Ellie and I had crepes, yum! I didn’t take any pictures at lunch, boo! So unlike me. Ellie was very excited because there was a Tesla parked outside. She is a tad obsessed with Teslas.

It was pouring, so we headed home so I could start on her pants before we had to head to the bus stop to get the boys. We didn’t embarrass them too much there but of course, I did make them take some pictures together.

img_7398

Goofballs. Don’t worry, that house is vacant.

The boys were supposed to have soccer that night, but it was canceled. For the life of me, I can’t remember what we did for dinner. I know the night before we made pizzas, which was notable because we got a cauliflower crust from Trader Joes for one of the pizzas and no one noticed! SCORE! Oh well, I guess it doesn’t really matter what we had for dinner that night.

The next day we headed to Baton Rouge to hang out with my brother and sister in law, who were back from NYC, and we did fun things like swim (MY MOM WENT DOWN THE WATER SLIDE) and went to LSU to take the bench picture again and I made Jennifer an apron for her birthday. Pics!

Later, we went to LSU to take the bench picture again (here are the 2012, 2015, and 2017 versions) but it was pouring rain. When there was a break, we got the photo. Whew!

img_7574

Playing in the rain:

They went home the next day, but we’ll see them again in just a few months at Thanksgiving!

Soccer and sewing (again)

Two things taking over my life right now – soccer and sewing.

Let’s start with soccer. I took a lot of pictures at Saturday’s game, but don’t worry, I won’t do this at every game. But it was their first, after all, and they even won! (Can’t say the same about the game on Sunday, though.)

Some of my favorite pics from the game:

Miles usually was playing closest to where I was sitting, so I got more pictures of him, but for the next game I’m borrowing a 300mm lens from a friend (this one only zooms to 105mm) so hopefully I’ll get better pics of all three. (Linus is 90, Miles is 91, and Oliver is 92.) I mean, if someone wants to buy me this, I won’t say no…

In sewing news, you know that Upton dress I made the other day? Well, I wasn’t super thrilled with the fit, so I made some adjustments and was able to squeeze the dress out of less than 3 yards of fabric I had lying around. And this time, it’s much better!

Observe:

The fit on the right is more like how it should be. I also raised the waistband an inch (well, I lowered it 3″ the first time I made it, but only 2″ the second time) and went down a size in the bodice, but up a cup size (Cashmerette patterns have different bust sizes, which is awesome.)

 

Also, I got a zipper foot for my sewing machine, so I was able to get my invisible zipper slightly less visible:

Couple more pics. Note to self: the waistband pieces should be cut upside down if they’re directional, because I have a little bird peeping down from the waist. Hee!

Next time, I think I might try the box pleated skirt version. Or add sleeves. Who knows?!!?