Archive | February, 2012

“May the [Apron] Be with You”

25 Feb

I’ve wanted to make an apron for Blake for quite awhile – mainly to protect his clothes from dirt, paint, markers, and … icing (during cookie-making adventures with la mama). After looking online for a simple toddler apron pattern, I decided I could create my own … from scratch. With a few quick measurements from Blake (including what size pocket he’d like for all of his “tools”) I was ready to go.

Blake's measurements ...

I decided to go with a Star Wars theme, and to cover it with easy-wipe plastic for quick cleaning. I’m usually hesitant when it comes to sewing with plastic or vinyl because the stickiness of the fabric tends to jack up my sewing needles (in technical terms). However, this plastic (which I found in the remnant bin at Joann’s for about $1) was super thin so I decided to give it a go.

It's getting a little "Dexter" up in here ...

All in all, it went pretty smoothly. The plastic – and my pattern – were super easy to work with, and both are ideal for keeping Blake clean – or at least clean-able. Even better: he’s actually willing to wear it – not always the case when it comes to my stubborn 3-year-old.

Total cost: About 1.5 hours of time, and $9. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. :)


Gettin' dirty ... yet staying clean! :)


A Dork in Hollywood

25 Feb

My fave :)

So – one of my favorite things about having a birthday February 24 is that my day of birth always coincides with the Academy Awards celebration in Hollywood. Though we don’t “hang out” in El Lay often, this is one time of the year that I absolutely love to get my dork on and people watch in Tinseltown.

After dinner at 25 degrees in the Roosevelt Hotel, we headed to the Kodak Theater to get some Oscar love.

That's totally an Oscar statue behind me! Still covered in plastic!

The red carpet is already rolled out for the evening’s guests (albeit covered in plastic wrap so none of the gawking tourists can screw it up :)

"Yes, I'm wearing "Black Sweatshirt," by Target."

I was lucky enough to get interviewed by the one and only Joan Rivers … don’t mind the low quality of the photo. My husband was so embarrassed that I asked him to take this picture that he took it as quickly as he possibly could.

That's totally Tim Gunn!

I jumped up and down like a school girl when we saw Tim Gunn from Project Runway. (I’m extremely easy to impress, btw, in case that wasn’t clear. There is a reason this post isn’t titled “Cool Girl in Hollywood.”)

Kodak Theater Entry Way: Oscar statues galore!

Later in the eve, we hit Haywire (awesome!) at the Chinese Theater. I’d never actually seen a movie there before, largely due to the $$$-tickets, but it was worth it. An Italian movie festival was being held while we were there, which made people watching even more fun.

All in all, a super-fun eve, and back in the LBC by 9 to put my monsters to bed. Happy birthday, indeed.


Project Playstation

23 Feb

One of my favorite parts about sewing is being able to create things that light my son’s face up … while spending little to no money. I recently did so with a super-simple project: turning a piece of fabric into the ultimate toddler play station – all for about $1.

I found this cute piece of highway fabric in the remnant bin at SAS Fabrics in Tucson. With just a bit of fleece backing (found in my own remnant bin) – and about 10 minutes of time – I had a very cool playmat that B can roll up, pack up, and carry around to his heart’s content – that is, when he isn’t busy using it.

Not only was it cheap and easy to put together, it avoids the modern-day electric-toy overload so common in many of today’s fancy/sophisticated/overdone children’s toys.


A Very Spidey RSVP

21 Feb

So – I try to encourage Blake’s creativity every chance I get. I’ve been a dragon. A dinosaur. A racecar. Captain America. And for the most part, I totally “get” my son’s imagination (including the point at which it verges from reality). But the kid threw me a curve ball yesterday when he insisted – INSISTED – that Spider Man was coming to our house for an afternoon party. And “pretending” didn’t appear to be part of the plan.

At first I truly thought we were make-believing … I went into my, “Awesome, let’s get the house ready for Spidey!” discourse. But when Blake put his shoes and coat on, and told me it was time to pick Spider Man up from the airport, I was a little confused at what to do.

"Time to go, Mom! Spidey's waiting!"

At first I decided to pretend we were driving to the airport. But Blake totally called my bluff.

“Mom – we need to get in the car, actually.”

Um – ok. Not willing to actually drive to LAX to appease my son’s imagination, I told him that I arranged for Spider Man to take a taxi to our house, so we didn’t need to pick him up after all. (???) I then pretended Spidey was at the door, and greeted [the invisble] him cheerfully … only to have Blake look at me like I was mentally imbalanced.

“He’s not there, Mom. Actually.” (“Actually” is B’s new fave word, btw.)

Right. So Blake proceeded to go out to the porch to wait for Spider Man to actually arrive.

"Don't worry - I'll wait!"

At this point I was definitely a little concerned. It seems Blake really believed, for whatever reason, that Spider Man was coming to our house for an afternoon party. After about 20 minutes of waiting, Blake was starting to mope. I wasn’t quite sure what to do …

Luckily, I already have Spider Man on speed dial because of our chance meeting at SD Comic Con last summer; I call him when Blake is naughty, which is often.

So I gave Spidey a ring only to find – to my horror – that he had gotten caught up chasing bad guys and wouldn’t be able to make it to the party after all. Dang, dude.

"Hi, this is Spiderman. I can't come to the phone right now because I'm battling bad guys. Leave a message, and I'll call you back."

Blake was heartbroken. “Why does he have to fight bad guys? He could fight them here. Because why?”

In the end, he asked if I could write Spider Man a note for him. This is what he wanted it to say:

Sorry we missed you, Spidey!

I’m not sure if I handled this scenario correctly. Though I want B to have a healthy imagination, I definitely want him to know the difference between reality and the “neighborhood of make believe,” where we already spend much of our time.

Any thoughts on the best way to handle an imagination gone wild, or the very real chance of disappointment once a dream fails to become reality?




“I’m a sucker for some pretty eyes …”

11 Feb

I love Lucero. I’ve made that clear. So when I saw they’d be playing in London at the same time I’d be working in the UK, I couldn’t believe my luck. I bought a ticket without even knowing if I’d be able to go (SOLD OUT – two nights in a row at The Windmill!!!) … and I would have been happy enough (-ish) with that – the cosmic sign that my music and my heart are in the same country at the same time.

Lucero + Brixton = coolest e-ticket evah

Luckily for me, I was able to hit the show, and so glad I did. Getting there was a little exhausting – cab to bus to train to … getting lost on the streets of Brixton (slightly sketchy part of London). Luckily (again) I met some boys at the train station (who had come down all the way from Manchester – five hours by bus!) who were also going to the show, so we got lost on the streets of Brixton together.

Those who know me are aware that I've always planned to name my daughter Brixton ... another sign :)

Finally got to the show, and Ben was standing right there in front of me! Covered in snow (and a 15-year-old at heart), I had to tell him I love him. He gave me a sweet hug and the obligatory 2 seconds of convo before moving on. Love him!

Ben Nichols - Lucero

I quickly made my way to the front of the stage. The openers, Dexy and Giles, were awesome. Also met some great guys from California and Brixton who chilled with me between sets. Finally it was time for Ben.

The show was amazing. Ben was hilarious – making jokes and goofing off throughout the songs. The crowd sang every single word of every single song – very cool to see the love Lucero has across the Atlantic pond.

Such a memorable night. Got a little lost trying to find the bus stop back to Oxford, but decided to capture the moment – the fairytale quiet of snow falling slowing in London at midnight – in a little video.

An awesome adventure. I love England. And I looooove Lucero. :)


P.S. In case it isn’t already clear what a dork I am, I was psyched to see that part of my head showed up in another fan’s pic online. :)

That's my eye - bottom right! :)