Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Yummy breakfast, cute shirt, and Kittens!

This morning, I finally got around to making one of the recipes I saved.  You can find it here.  It's a breakfast ring of crescent rolls filled with cheese, bacon, and eggs.  It's such a flexible recipe, too.  I want to try it with sausage and different cheeses, and maybe some green onions.  They also talk about putting tomatoes and chilis for a southwestern kick.  I might rather just veggies.  Tomatoes, green peppers, and mushrooms.  Like an omelet in crescent rolls.  Yum!

I crumbled my bacon instead of putting slices on whole.  I just thought whole pieces might come out in the first bite and tear the thing apart.  And next time I'd cook it a bit longer.  The insides of my crescents were still a bit gooey -- fine by me, though.  I like crescent roll dough.  Then again, maybe it's just our oven.  It's busted.  The door doesn't close all the way, so it doesn't vent right.

Anyway, it was delicious.  I think one slice wouldn't be enough for a normal breakfast though.  Two slices, or maybe one with some fruit salad would be perfect.  It was so yummy.  I'll definitely make it again.  Preferably when I have a microwave or toaster oven to reheat the leftovers. Using the oven for everything is just a hassle, especially considering its issues.

And yes, that is a paper plate.  We don't have a dishwasher, so we just bought a huge thing of paper plates and bowls at costco.  We only use dishes when we absolutely have to (which is surprisingly infrequent).

Today I wore a shirt I made yesterday.  The fabric is adorable.  I got it years ago at a thrift store and tried to make something immediately, which didn't turn out so good.  After that, I was scared to use it because I love the fabric and I wanted to be sure I got something wearable out of it.  But I've already made two t-shirts with this pattern, and I love them.  So I thought it was safe enough.  It's a printed stretch knit.  It's not the softest or stretchiest, but it is adorable.  It's a light purple with little animals on it.  There are owls, squirrels, bears, racoons.. Oh it's just so cute.  There wasn't quite enough to make the sleeves the same fabric, but I like the white sleeves anyway.  In fact, I think the first shirt I tried to make was a similar style with the same fabrics.  I love the way it turned out and it's easy and comfy.  I'm really trying to wear more stuff I make, and even more "nice" stuff.  I think this shirt would go better with a skirt or nice pants than most of the mass-made tees I have.  I love it.

BTW, it's inspired by a stretch lace top I saw over at Made by Rae. Hers is adorable, too.  She also provides a tutorial on how to make your own pattern for this shirt. It's simple, and perfect! Now I have one in solid purple, one with black and white striped body and red sleeves, and this new animal purple one.  I love them.  And making them with knits means no finishing needed.  So if you do a solid one, it's two seams!  You can finish the neckline, but I didn't on one, and it's holding up fine.

To make mine have different colored sleeves, I just folded my pattern over where I wanted that seam, and retraced the two pieces.  I added a bit of seam allowance and cut the sleeves on the fold so that the seams are under the arms instead of on the tops of the shoulders.  

Next I plan to use this pattern for a woven material.  I'm curious also about changing the sleeves some.  But since I already know the body fits great (loose, but follows curves prettily), I want to keep it and change up the other details.  This would be a great shirt to do some playing around with embellishments like fabric flowers or something. 

I also had to get some bedding for the rats, who needed their cage cleaned today.  So I went to the pet store, only to find the CUTEST kittens (I mean, other than mine, of course).  One looks a lot like Friday did when she was a kitten.  The other was a tabby point little fuzz ball.  I want them both!  One day, I'll own my home (hopefully a large one with a basement for a litter box) and I'll have ALL the cats.  I just can't say no to their adorable little faces.  Her name is Leah.  And I want her now.  :(  They take good care of her, though.  Hopefully someone will fall in love with her like I did and give her a wonderful, huge home, with lots of toys and good food and places to climb.  ... I'm going to have so many cats.  It's a good thing my man likes them, too.

Just for comparison, here are some pictures of kitten from about a year ago.   I think the little fuzz ball I saw today probably is short haired.  And her ears stick out of the side of her head.  But otherwise, they could be sisters, too.  And who knows, maybe they are.  Friday came from a shelter out here, too. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One dead iron and One Linen Skirt

My iron is officially dead.  Probably won't have a funeral.  It might even be fun to throw into the dumpster.  Either way, I have to replace it.  It smells terrible. And it makes little popping sounds.  I think it's parker's fault.  He likes to lay on the ironing board.  And he loves to knock things in the floor (seconds later after this photo was taken, he knocked the remote off the ironing board).  And he is just a little athlete, so he's constantly taking off and knocking over the ironing board. The iron's fallen to the floor, hung from it's cord, and been knocked over countless times in the past couple weeks.  Nevermind that she's no spring chicken to begin with...

So that's on tomorrow's agenda.  Thrift store an iron, that I'll likely re-donate at the end of the summer.  So I hope I don't find one I really like.  I just need something cheap that works. I have to re donate my ironing board, too.  It barely fit in the car when it was empty... And the car was stuffed full on the way out here.  Eh, we'll figure it out.

So here's one of the skirts I made earlier this summer.  It is a black linen or linen blend (got it at a thrift store, so I'm not sure)  I used almost exactly all the fabric (really lucky) and I love it.  It was inspired by a pin I saw on pinterest.  It links to an etsy listing that apparently no longer exists.  The inspiration was in a khaki linen-looking fabric.  I just love it.  I wish I had a better picture of my skirt.  But honestly, it looks almost exactly like the inspiration.  It's not as full, but otherwise, the style is the same.  I've worn it a few times already.  And I like it a lot.  It's super cool and comfy in this desert heat.  The back is gathered for a good fit and volume there, too.  And it is a perfect length -- it just touches the tops of my feet.  I think the inspiration skirt is a bit short.  Maybe it's just the shape or the picture.  It also has nice deep pockets.

I'm pretty sure that linen cost me under $2, and the time was free, as I have nothing better to do.  Maxi skirts tend to be expensive because of the fabric involved, even if you make them yourself.  This one was cheap, and perfect for me.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I'm REALLY excited about starting school at GSU.  They have a nationally ranked Public Policy program.  When I was looking to apply to schools, they were my #1 choice.  Soon after I finished my application, the program director called and told me I'd been accepted.  As if that wasn't enough, they offered me a lot of money to come there.  So I said yes!

See how sweet?
When I told my man I'd been accepted, he was genuinely excited for me.  He was very supportive and so sweet about it.  When I was applying, he'd made it clear he didn't want me to go there because it would mean either long commutes for both of us, or living apart.  So I was nervous to tell him I was accepted.  But he was great about it. 

And then we avoided talking about it for weeks...  It was really hard to talk about.  But he is so supportive of me going to school there.  He never made me feel bad or guilty for wanting to go to school there, and he encourages me to be excited about it.

So I am!  I'm looking into apartments in the area (hoping for no commute!), and trying to plan decor and furnishing.  There are a few problems with this.  First, I'm about 1500 miles away from Atlanta.  Though I did visit a few places back in march, I can't really gather any new info...  Second, I'm flat broke.  I won't be for long once I get there, but I will be broke when I get there.  Luckily, that extra special, super sweet man in the picture is going to loan me enough to get my apartment and live until I get my first paycheck. 

I'm also looking forward to school.  I'll only be taking 3 classes at a time (as opposed to 5), and work will be school related and only 16 hours a week.  Plus (and don't tell them this), the classes should be a bit easier than the advanced Econ topics I was studying.  Not quite as intense mathematically.  So I'm really looking forward to it.  And, I'll get my own cubicle.  And I'll get to do research.  And I'll FINALLY get to study government instead of business economics. 

Oh, I'm just so excited. 

And I'm going to be living in Atlanta.  I've been to Atlanta many many times, but never thought about calling it home.  It's such a big city.  I'm from a town of about 4,000 people.  My grandparents went to the same high school I did.  It's just such a big step for me.  I'm very excited.  And I bet there's good sushi!

It's coming up fast, too.  I just can't believe it's only about two months until I start school.6 5555555555555555557 (Kitten now has no qualms walking on my keyboard...)  Part of me is very excited and hopes time will fly.  But another part wants time to stop so I can spend forever in my man's arms.  Ready or not, it's coming. 

Try again

So after I left New Mexico at the end of last summer, the realities of grad school hit me, and I quit writing here.  I did an accelerated master's program (15 hrs a semester -- AH! -- normal grad is 9), 2 hours worth of commute time daily, and a part time job that decided 36 hours a week was part time. 

Luckily, I survived all that, and graduated with my masters in econ in May.  I was also accepted to Georgia State University's PhD program in Public Policy.  Not only that, but they (my top choice) offered me a research assistant position and a fellowship worth more money than I thought possible. 

So, in August, I'm moving to Atlanta.  Sadly, my man is still stuck to his PhD program in Birmingham.  So we'll be living apart.  The kitties will be splitting time between us.  I'm really excited about this new chapter in my life, but very sad to have to start it away from the man who makes a house my home. 

Kitten (we've completely stopped calling Friday by her name) has gotten big, though not nearly as big as we thought she'd be.  Her paws and ears are enormous, but her little body hasn't caught up.  She is still growing, but slowly.  And as cute and spoiled as ever.  Here's the three of them.  At least they think the bed is comfy.  Duncan (in the middle) has lost a lot of weight over the past year.  He plays a lot more, and is very snuggly.  Parker's the same as ever.  Dumb and sweet.  We love them all.

We've also added another species to our brood.  We got three female rats in September (that part time job was a pet supply store).  They are adorable, and sweet, and we love them a lot.  The cats like them, too.  They are fun to watch (or so they tell us).  Caring for the rats is a lot of fun.  Their favorite toy is a box full of tissues.  It's fun to watch them tear out the tissues and make a little nest.  I don't have any pictures of that, yet, but I did just get a new box of tissues at the store today.  Maybe I'll post some soon.  But here's a picture of a couple of them.  They all look exactly the same (grey dumbo), except the different white spots on their bellies.  The one standing is Luna (no spots on her belly), and I'm pretty sure the other is Terra.  She is always following Luna around.  Astra is the other sister.  She's a bit more of a loner.  She's a sweetie, too, but she's always the last to run up to see us. 

Over the last year, I've had very little time to sew anything.  In fact, I don't think I sewed a single garment after leaving New Mexico.  I did sew a few hammocks for the rats, but that's pretty much it.  So getting back here for the summer, with nothing but time on my hands, I've been sewing like a mad-woman.  So far, I have sewn 6 skirts, 7 tops (one of which was torn by Kitten just before it was hemmed), a pair of wrap shorts, and a few attempts at shorts that didn't quite work (tweaking the pattern still).  I have plans for many other things, too. 

So that's where I've been, and where I am.  I'm going to try to pick this back up, and keep it up when I start school.  It should be slower than this year was (should be backwards going from master's to PhD w/ assistant job).  I'm really hoping to be able to keep organized (a new topic I'm going to explore here), and keep from losing all the things I enjoy when I get busy.  Hopefully this will become a place I can talk about keeping myself in that groove.

So.  I'm back! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Almost time to Go

The packing is almost done.  Tomorrow I pack the car.  Monday I drive.  Tuesday I drive. Ugh, that's a lot of driving.  I'm excited, but it's starting to hit me.  I'm going to miss my man.  We were doing the long(ish)-distance thing before the summer.  It's not exciting to do that again.  And I'm going to have all the cats.  So it's sad to know that he'll be all by himself.  And without a car.  We took the bus today for the first time.  He wanted to do a test-run before he had to ride to work.  It was easy, and made him feel better.  And I feel better that he knows what to do.  I'm going to worry about him a lot anyway.

The kitties have been cute.  Friday learned to jump from the table to the fridge.  She used to need something on the table to help her up.  Now she can get on the cabinets with her brothers.  She and Parker took a nap up there yesterday.  They were so cute!!

Friday can jump on the dresser and the counter all by herself now, too.  Which means she's been getting into a lot more trouble these days! But she's such a sweet kitten.  I think she thinks she's a person.  She has started trying to pet us by gently pawing our faces.  And she "kisses" our noses.  She's also kind of crazy.  She loves to play, and she never hesitates to attack anything that moves near her, even before she sees what it is.  Even though she attacks a lot, she is very careful not to hurt us.  I don't think she's quite figured out that our feet are attached, but other than that, she never uses her claws on us.  The scratches we get are from her jumping up into our laps and using her claws to hang on.

I'm nervous about the trip.  I'm nervous that I'll have trouble with something.  I'm pretty sure it'll go smoothly, but you never can tell.  1200 miles is a lot of time for something to happen in.

I'm excited about getting home.  I haven't spent the night at my mom's house in over 2 years.  So it'll be interesting.  My mom has organized a girl's day out with me, my sisters, my niece, my aunt, and one of my many cousins.  I'm excited for that.  I haven't gotten to spend time out with them for a long time.  We are also going to have a family dinner while I'm in town.  We do that once a month anyway.  I always look forward to that day.  It's a good time to hang out and catch up with everyone.

But I'm most looking forward to a local restaurant that I haven't eaten at in years.  Biscuit Express has the BEST biscuits (and Dr. Pepper) anywhere.  I'm a southerner.  I like biscuits.  And it seems if you leave the South, no one knows how to make them.  Biscuit Express is a drive-through joint in my home town.  It gets a lot of traffic from commuters into Huntsville.  Because their biscuits are amazing.  When I was in high school, that's what I had for breakfast every day, but they close at about 1pm.  So when I moved to school two and a half hours away, it got really hard to get back home in time to eat there.  So I haven't been in a long time.  I plan to eat there every morning I'm in town.

Although I'm really looking forward to getting back home, I have liked Albuquerque.  I live in this neighborhood called Four Hills.  Not far away, there are four big hills (which in Alabama would be called mountains).  Heck, I'd call them mountains here if it weren't for the REAL mountains just to the north of the four hills.  Here's the hills.  The best view is from the access ramp to the interstate, but that's not exactly a good place to take pictures from.  So I took pictures from the road just outside the air force base, where it's nice and empty.

It's so odd that the empty space out here stays just like that.  A few bushes, maybe a tumbleweed or two, but generally empty.  Where I come from, there would be so many trees you wouldn't be able to see anything.  I think people from out here probably feel claustrophobic when they come out East.  If you get up a little bit, you can see for hundreds of miles.

When I take the boy to work, we drive past the Nuclear History Museum.  They have all kinds of planes and stuff outside, as well as a rocket.  I'm not sure why the rocket is there, but it reminds me a bit of home.  Here's the Albuquerque rocket. 

Every time I drive from school to Huntsville, the first sign of home is the space and rocket center (Marshall Space Flight Center).  They have two big rockets out front, and they are easily visible from the interstate.  When I see them, I always relax.  Here's the view from the interstate.
(photo from article about that intersection's inefficiencies - go read it here)
Notice the trees?  Yea, I miss those.  There are trees out here, but only where people plant them.  And they're small.  All in all, I'm looking forward to going home.  Alabama is definitely still home.

Finally Sewing!

I've gotten a lot done on my quilt!  I've sewn a lot of it together.  It's been a bit of slow going because I keep getting interrupted to pack, which I'm also almost done with.  Today I packed up the dishes and other kitchen stuff.  I've also packed up the boy's stuff that I'm taking.  Since he's flying back, he doesn't want to have to bring back all his clothes and stuff on the plane.  So other than the stuff I'm going to use between now and time to go, I'm all packed up.  I haven't packed my sewing machine yet.  I think that will make me very sad.. Now I can sew whenever there's a lull in packing or doing stuff.  Once it's packed, I'll have to work constantly.  Odd how not sewing is work... 

Back to the quilt.  So as soon as I finished cutting, I started sewing together the little squares.  I sewed them together in a long chain and then together to make blocks.  

This is the first block I finished!  I've started sewing the blocks together to form strings.  After that, I'll sew the strings together side-by-side, put on a border, make it a sandwich, and quilt!  Almost there.  Here's my strings that I've sewn together.  

So that's where I am.  And probably where I'll be for a few days. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Space bag!!

I finally got around to packing that space bag I got a few days ago!  I had decided to just pack my clothes in it.  So I started with that.  And it wasn't even halfway full.  This bag is huge.  So I packed a blanket and all my fabric in there, too.  This stuff was enough to fill my big duffel suitcase and 3 boxes.  Plus the blanket.  Here's the before. 
Huge.  So much stuff.  Since I don't have a vacuum, I had to carry this out to my car.  It was incredibly heavy.  I took it down the street to a car wash and vacuumed out the air.  It worked perfectly.  I was really impressed.  Here's the after.
I've always been skeptical of these things, and you know in the commercial they are just using really fluffy stuff to shrink as much as possible.  But it actually worked.  So now I am really confident I'll be able to pack all my stuff without any trouble.  See I have a sedan, and almost the whole back seat will be taken up by the cats' cage.  On the way out here, the car was stuffed as full as it could get.  And of course we've bought stuff over the summer that we want to keep.  Since he is flying back later, there will be some room in the front seat, but I knew that wouldn't be enough.  With this, I'm pretty sure it'll all go in easily.  The only thing I maybe don't like is that it is SO heavy.  I wish they had these ones with the tote in a medium size instead of just enormous.

The little one found the hammock today!  She likes to lay in it, too.

Now I'm thinking about quilting it a bit to keep it from stretching so much.  I don't know if that would work or not, but it might be worth a try. 

I didn't get to start sewing tonight like I wanted.  I'm definitely going to start tomorrow, though.  I don't really know what to pack next, though the kitchen is really the only thing left.. I might start that, too.  I feel like I'm not getting as much packing done as I need to.  And I'm scared to put stuff in the car because the temperature varies so much out here.  A lot of things will be destroyed by car-in-desert-sun temperatures.  I actually slept most of the evening.  I've been having some terrible hip pain.  I have some hip problems, so this isn't totally a surprise.  But I haven't been all that active, so I don't know what's triggering it.  I was cleaning stuff up and it really hurt, so I took some advil and laid down.  Slept from 8 until 11.. And I'm still tired.  Goodnight!!