We ❤️ NY

I’m blogging this from the back seat of Kiki and Mike’s car as we head back to Virginia. We left New York City a couple of hours ago, and while I’ve been terrible about blogging our trip so far (I mean the one to Virginia) at least I can get this one down now, while it’s still fresh.

We arrived yesterday (Sunday) a bit after noon (it’s about 4 hours from their house and we left bright and early.) Got the car parked and dropped our bags off at the hotel (a Courtyard by Marriott that we got for an absolute steal) and headed out to explore.

We decided to walk to Rockefeller Center since it wasn’t too far away, and one of our ideas was to go to the top.

The east coast was going through a nightmarish heat wave this weekend, so we didn’t want to do anything that involved being outside much. But when you are in a city where you walk everywhere, it’s an impossible goal. But at least we could duck into air conditioning as often as possible.

So far, Linus approves.
In front of Rockefeller Center
At the Top of the Rock
Group selfie!

After we baked on top of a skyscraper, we headed to the Nintendo store.

Oh and we ate pizza before going up, and the boys were not happy that it was square instead of traditional NY pizza. It was delicious though. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Afterwards, we walked around Rockefeller Center a bunch because there was ice cream and air conditioning. And then went back to the hotel so we could check in. We rested for a while in our rooms, then headed back out for “real” pizza and to see Times Square.

Went to John’s Pizza for dinner. Was delicious but hot. Like, my shirt was soaked with sweat. 🔥 But the pizza was fantastic. The boys were thrilled to have “foldable” pizza.

It was getting dark by the time we left, so it was time to see the lights of Times Square in all of their glory. The boys loved it.

My favorite part was the group of Sri Lankan men who asked me to take their photo. And then wanted everyone in the picture. 😀 They were adorable and pointed out a few times that they were politicians back home. I had to get a picture with my phone as well, of course.

Next, we went back to Rockefeller Center to make use of its facilities and got some dessert for the boys. We were all exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel and I slept like a rock. (I have said “rock” a lot in this post.)

This morning, we woke up and went to stand in line for bagels at Ess-a-Bagel, which was handily right by our hotel. I was nervous about ordering, but I did okay and didn’t get yelled at. The boys loved the bagels (they got butter, I got lox spread.) They were totally worth the wait.

After eating, we walked up to Central Park and we all climbed on rocks. The temperature was much lower today, thank goodness.

Ahhhh!

Our next stop was a cookie dough shop that Oliver had been dying to go to ever since we decided to make this trip. We took the subway down to Chelsea, and when we got there, it was closed! 🤬 Poor kid was heartbroken. There was another cookie dough shop around the corner, but it took a while for him to recover. (As an aside, as fond as I am of sampling cookie dough when I make it, these places where they scoop it out to eat raw – it’s egg-free so safe – make me want to retch and I honestly couldn’t even look at it. But I’m weird.)

The next stop was the one I was most excited about….MOOD!!!!!! You know, the fabric store from Project Runway?

No one else was excited, though. 😆 So I very thoughtfully made my choices as quickly as I could. But I mean there are 3 stories of fabric! I had a list of patterns I want to make dresses with and the amount of fabric I needed, and tried to decide fast. It was actually good for me because otherwise that place would have sent me into a tailspin of indecision. I ended up getting a few yards of cotton voile (a light woven cotton) for a dress:

And then went to search for swim fabrics, because I wasn’t thrilled with what I’d bought at Joann’s. And I hit the jackpot! I found these (the blue is for contrast):

And I love it, but after it was cut out, I saw this, and was all 😍😍😍 so got some of it as well.

Dreamy, right? And the blue will work with it as well.

The people at Mood were so nice, but sadly we did not see Swatch the dog. 😢

This was happy Pam:

It was time to head back to get the car and go back to Virginia to beat a bad storm that was coming. But first, more pizza! The boys wanted to try 99 cent slices, and the cheapskate in me was happy to oblige! They said they liked it best of all. Of course.

We made it back to the car just before the sky opened up, and that is the end of our New York adventure! I’m happy that writing this post has taken up a good part of the journey back to Kiki’s. Woo hoo!

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A visit to Portland, Oregon

I went to Portland a couple of weeks back for work. I really should be blogging about that part, but I’ll save that for the next post. This time, I want to talk about the fabric stores I visited! (Also what I made with my bounty so far.)

I had a few free hours here and there, and when possible, I snuck away to one of the zillions of sewing stores in the area. The first one I went to was Mill End. I had to take a Lyft there and back, which wasn’t cheap, but I’m still glad I went.

But it was overwhelming. Probably a good thing for my wallet, because I could have spent thousands in there. There was so much fabric! And types that I just can’t buy in person here. Knits and swim fabric and linens and silks and sequins and on and on and on.

Continue reading

Sewing and soccer

I started to make this just about sewing, but there’s more to life than sewing, you know.

There’s soccer, of course.

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Speaking of, my latest post for NOMB came out today.

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Generally tongue in cheek, as I am wont to do. Check it out!

Okay, this is probably really, really wrong of me. But I was videoing some of the soccer game because I knew the boys would want to watch it, and I just happened to get a video of this kid on the other team getting knocked over by a ball. He was FINE. But the video is VERY FUNNY. SO I can’t decide if I should share it or not. Hmm. How about I won’t embed it, but I’ll put a link here so you can click on it if you want to be as evil as me and watch a little kid get conked in the head with a soccer ball? Fair enough. (And yes. I slowed it down so you could see it even better.)

Last weekend, some long-lost (not really) cousins were in town and we had lunch with them. I wish I had some pictures. We were half an hour late because the French Quarter was packed so it took us forever to park so I was too frazzled to take pictures. Except of my barbecue oyster poboy. Mmmmmm.

Oh, and my Uncle Lee was here and he showed me a photo of my Aunt Nancy from when she was younger. She was my dad’s big sister, and of course I only knew her when she was older so it was lovely to see this.

Oh, look at these adorable sailors in the FQ for Navy Week!

Sewing-wise, I made this dress and this dress and both were fails (one was WAY too big, and I don’t feel like going back and reprinting and taping the pattern in a smaller size, the other was just…meh) and then I decided I needed to try the Cashmerette Springfield top again because by golly I wasn’t going to give up on it, and I was much more successful the second time. Except the bust darts were too high and the arm holes a smidge tight.

Try three was a winner! My friend Jessica sews kid’s clothes for a living and had two full boxes of adorable fabrics that she gave me and I am in HEAVEN. I made both of those Springfield tops out of fabric she gave me. I love the plaid!

And then last night I decided to try the Cashmerette Washington dress and as seems to be the case with these patterns, they don’t fit right the first time so I am going to re-make the bodice in a different fabric tonight and see if it works better. I hope so!

I also am excited about trying out this dress pattern and this skirt pattern. This weekend, I hope I can get to at least one of them!

Oh, but my nieces’ birthdays are coming up and I want to make them things too. So much to sew, so little time!

Ooh, and look at my cute shoes!

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Also I’ve been to Orangetheory five times in a row now because I want to get this stupid t-shirt that you have to earn by completing “a marathon” in April. Which normally, fine, 26.2 miles over the course of a month’s worth of workouts wouldn’t be so difficult except that I was out for about 10 days of the month because of travel and a funeral last week. So I might fall apart by the end of the month but BY GOD I WILL HAVE A SHIRT THAT IS PROBABLY TOO SMALL.

Some nice things

I have a longer post coming soon, but for now I wanted to highlight these two nice things people said to me on Saturday.

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Nice thing #1:

Scene: The boys’ soccer game had just ended. Their team lost (barely) but they played really well. 

Coach: Pam, can I talk to you over here?

Me (thinking): Uh oh, what’d I do? I’m in trouble.

Coach: I just wanted to tell you that your boys are a delight to coach. They’re so well-behaved and are really supportive to their teammates. They just have great attitudes, unlike some of the other players on the team. I just wanted to let you know.

Me (is it dusty here or what?): Thank you, that’s so kind!

END SCENE


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Nice thing #2:

Scene: Cute little sewing store.  I went in “real quick” to pick up some fabric since they were having a sale that ended that day. Miles came in with me, the rest of the fam was in the van outside, frothing at the mouth because I was “taking so long.” Pleeeeease. But look at the pretty fabric I got!

Fancy Uptown older lady: Did you make that shirt?

Me: This old thing? (Not really, I didn’t say that.)
Me: Yes!

FUOL: That’s really nice! What pattern is it?

I tell her. She looks carefully at the seams and admires the bias binding. I self-deprecatingly say it’s not perfect, and I only started sewing recently. She says some more complimentary things, and some of my imposter syndrome around sewing fades. (Some, not all.)

END SCENE

Wrapping up Singapore

As I mentioned before, most of our time in Singapore was spent working, so I don’t have a ton of pics or anything, but I do want to wrap up my recaps so I can post about sewing again. 🙂

Mostly it’s gonna be a bunch of pictures again. Sorry.

Food and beverages. [Not pictured: The cheapest bottle of wine I could find at the only store I could find with wine and that was $23 (SG which is $17USD but tasted like $3USD wine) but had a corkscrew and we were staying at a hotel that didn’t serve alcohol so I tried to dig out the cork with a housekey but that only bent my key but turns out this hotel was quite nice so even though they don’t serve booze they do have corkscrews. Whew!]

Fabric shopping! We had one free day to do stuff, and you already saw my flower pics, so now you have to see where I dragged Karen and Deborah.  Continue reading