Mackin on dem Alley Cats!

Lately, while cleaning and pumping through quilting projects, I’ve listened to a lot of Ellie Goulding. And even some Ellie Goulding on Pandora, meaning her and other artists that have a similar sound or “patterns” in their sound. Today when I turned on Pandora, it started off with this song, Only You by Ellie Goulding. Here’s a partial video clip of the song:

Now… I like the song. But it also caused me to google this: 80s music video singer with animated cat. Because, let’s face it, Goulding’s song would be EPICLY 80s with her own chimpmunk-esque partner like Paula’s!

Though… the couch/removed car bench scene kinda creeps me out. Echkack… hairball.

Things I learned today

1. Some cavities can be dealt with WITHOUT a shot in the mouth. Olivia was lucky enough to experience this. Back when I had mine filled? Not so much.

2. All swings are not the same. Especially at Bauman Farms. And even more so when you’re wearing Saltwater sandals that catch bark dust chips and you keep making mommy take them off so she can clean them out.

3. Sometimes dealing with a government office can be pleasant. Well, not terrible, at least. Seriously. (I know, right?)

4. Toddlers like straws. A lot.

5. Making homemade ice cream is REALLY exciting. Even to adults. :-)

6. I’m kind of obsessed with Oreos. I’ve tried almost every single kind that has come to our local Walmart. Today’s were Reese’s Peanut Butter Oreos. Not too shabby; personally, I think they’d be better sans the half squirt of chocolate. Ideally, they’d be chocolate cookie, peanut butter filling, and dipped in chocolate. Me! Chocolate! Who knew!

7. It’s okay to have a laundry switching, laundry sorting, laundry folding, laundry put-away-ing Family Home Evening. Especially when you can’t even open the Laundry Room door due to the massive piles of laundry in the way.

8. Even when we really REALLY want something – Heavenly Father knows what’s right for us. That job that Cameron was dying to get when Keybank decided to dissolve his postion? That company is now doing the same thing, eliminating all those positions all over again. A former co-worker of Cam’s is currently employed there and will have to be back out, hot on the job market all over again. We’re thankful, and happy, we decided to be patient and let – take it, Carrie Underwood!Jesus, take the wheel! (I’m not a huge fan of this song. Still couldn’t resist.) Yay for still having a job!

9. Vegan sweets are sometimes the BEST sweets. Even when you’re not vegan.

10. Safeway bag “boys” (in this case, bag man) seem to find graphic t-shirts a fantastic excuse to flirt with you. Well, me. But hey, don’t take my word for it – try it. Then yes, an excuse to flirt with you. Too. Today’s example:

I was wearing this shirt in the checkout line at Safeway and the rather creepy bag “man” said something. I THOUGHT he said, “Oh, you like BAG guys?” and I could feel my mouth drop! Who SAYS that?I had Olivia with me, I think I look married but I guess, maybe you can’t look married, ha!

Then he said something that didn’t register at first and I realized he had pointed, and was now staring, at my shirt. It dawned on me that he had actually said BAD guys. Well, I really hope he said bad guys, ha. “Oh… heh…” *cringe*. He then proceeded to discuss with me how not all the guys on my shirt were bad guys, “sometimes they’re allies.” Yes, thank you. Stop staring. Eyes are up here. Did I need help out to my car? Thanks, but I’m good!

I guess I should take this as a sign that even with my chub creeping back (sob) I’m still okay to hit on?

11. You can be 28, greasy-haired, carrying a few extra ell-bees, tired of your motor-mouth tween, and still look nice enough to hit on. Score. I guess?

Just kidding!

I was going to post some detail shots of my ADORABLE mini quilts (Hannah, you rock! See her blog here!) but between the appointment this morning for my son and then needing to jump over to Wilsonville to drop off my husband’s car to its new owner – things got busy! So no more photos today…

But in other news – tonight we got to see Abbey Road Live perform again! This is the 3rd or 4th time and it’s been so fun! The first time we saw them, we were attending a Hillsboro concert/arts fair thing with my parents. The kids had fun, made pet rocks, got their faces painted or the like and we had a great time. Plus, we discovered Abbey Road Live! Later they actually played in Woodburn at our Concerts in the Park summer series that our family loves to go to.

I definitely recommend you check them out, they rock: Abbey Road Live and of course… check out this cute video of Miss Chuck herself. <3

 

 

Update!

Here’s the update on my partner’s quilt! It wasn’t supposed to show up for another two days, but I sent it…

Like the name mini? :-) And of course all the goodies! I was thrilled to hear she got it today! Not the 16th! Woo! So, lo and behold, then mine popped up!

SQUEEEEE! Good heavens! Not only is there this gorgeous mini quilt, fabulous and fun fabric goodies – but seriously?! A Serenity mini? I think I got the world’s best partner! :-)

Close-ups tomorrow! Can’t wait to get these babies up on the wall! 

The Swap

I’m currently at the end of a Mini Quilt Swap! The Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap to be exact. In a way this is sort of introducing my quilting backward but hey – why not? I’ve been posting on Instagram (which is linked to my Facebook) with progress on blocks or work that I’m doing on this and that project but I have yet to post here. Perhaps that’s somehow linked to my constant absences around here!

This swap was SO much fun! I really enjoyed being able to use what I’ve been learning at the Woodburn Quilt Society – those two days a month, when I get to sit and sew or learn more about cutting, piecing, quilting, and more to come – I SO look forward to those two days. I’ve been experimenting (and kinda going a little nuts) with paper piecing on my own but! I’m semi… trying to pace… myself. Well, not really.

For this swap, I did two mini quilts – the first was my main one. I used the tutorial I found on Adventures of a Cross Stitch Drama Queen‘s blog – SO fun! My size was a little different and obviously I used different fabrics. My fabric was all from April Showers by Bonnie and Camille.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I hope my partner feels the same! I used a red and white houndstooth fabric for the binding and I was surprised at how the binding fell into place. This was my first major project and I was terrified for the binding. But I did it!

The backing was some cherry fabric that I’ve been hoarding for a while now. I feel like I have a bazillion yards of it. Once upon a time I had this idea in my head to make curtains for my kitchen that was going to be Mary Engelbreit and cherries. Then plans changed and I had… a LOT of cherry fabric. But hey – I’m a quilter now, I’ll blow through it. Right? Let’s hope… Regardless, the cherry fabric fit perfectly with the April Showers line.

On a side note – check out my cuuuuute masking tape! Love it!

The second mini quilt is going to remain un-posted until I know my partner has received her package. I don’t know who’s sending me my mini, and my partner doesn’t know I’m the one sending her a mini quilt! Kinda adds a fun spin on it. I paper pieced that quilt but the end result spells out her name… so that’s kind of a pretty clear giveaway…

I threw in some fun treats, she likes chocolate, and a cute little dachshund pin cushion with some feather pins. I’m kinda pin obsessed so it was fun to share part of my collection. I can’t wait until her package arrives! I’ll be sure to post photos of the whole thing once I get word.

After Round 2, I’m hoping Round 3 signups will open up soon – I’m definitely signing up. More next week!

The post in which I do not discuss consistency. Not for the faint of… something. I think.

Crap.

This post is now officially, and partly, about consistency thanks to the interwebs. Consistency. See? I did it again. Partial “consistency” based part of post over. You could term search all over this bad boy.

I’m now upstairs in the office-rapidly-turning-sewing-room. A lot has happened, as per the usual, right? When you can’t be consist– [OH! You thought I was gonna say it. Didn't you?] When time passes, life passes. Whether things are going well for you and your family, or horribly, the time still passes. I won’t word everything like an ongoing downer, I promise. But there have been a lot of ups and downs.

In lieu of listing them all out and not giving full appreciation to the photos and just clipping one or two, here or there, I’ll skip that part. I also don’t readily have access to an SD card reader (eyetwitch) so that’s kinda impossible. Sure, I have my phone and the bazillion photos over at Instagram (yup, it’s a link) but let’s face it: my brain can’t handle offering those photos up as the best I can do. When you’re a perfectionist, it gets rather difficult to offer up semi-shoddy work and smile big while saying “HERE IT IS, INTERNET!” Plus, while we do have new phones – the camera’s not fantabulous.

Speaking of new phones – tomorrow I have texting again! WOW! I can actually remember when I used to harass people – okay, not people. Let’s be honest. MY SISTERS. And my dad, HA, about being so addicted to texting. At the time we lived in West Jordan, Utah, weren’t making the greatest amount of money and well – Cam, I love you AND you’re cheap! So we didn’t have texting. This was, you know, back in 2010. So four years ago. Fast forward and I feel like I would never speak to my sisters without my beloved texts! When we got the new phones, suddenly I was talking to three of my sisters all. the. time. Texting non-stop. I actually went over my 3,000 texts for the month of July over 10 days early. Yeah, whoops. So not wanting to pay $0.15 a text I decided to just download an app that would give me a different phone number and basically text everyone via wifi/3G depending on where I was. No big deal.

THEN MY INTERNET RAN OUT.

So if you text me via my phone number and I don’t answer? I don’t hate you. I just suck at not being addicted to texting and sticking to my limit.

If you text me via my “new” temporary number for texting and I don’t answer? I don’t hate you. I just apparently suck at not using all my 3G on Instagram and new texting apps. Facepalms encouraged.

So! Yay for July 10th! Tomorrow I can text to my heart’s content! Or at least, moderately. No more running out of texts!

I apologize for the very intense random topic jumping that has happened so far and that will continue to happen. For those that don’t know, I suffer from depression and anxiety and I’m now on Effexor. It’s been working fantastically expect for the little issue of forgetting to take my pills! I doesn’t happen often but apparently when it does I have some intensely interesting side effects. Increasingly realistic dreams for one. This doesn’t intensely bother me when they involve Nathan Fillion, let’s be honest now, right? But seriously. WEIRD. The last was about being a con-artist. I was trying to escape to Canada by sprinting down a large bridge so I could jump of the edge, flail in the air, and land safely on the sand below. Even more weird? The people trying to catch me (and my super crafty con-artist posse) had created a FAKE Canada! So I had to hurry and run to the REAL DEAL. But rather than being more of an actual trip with passports and the like, it was like crossing the bridge from Portland, Oregon to Washington. Suddenly you were just FREE in Canada, to roam about. And it was empty. With lots of cool abandoned places for my random gang of con-artists to make into our hideout. Except we weren’t hiding because we were in Canada. Interesting logic there. Apparently I had no interest in conning Canadians. Only interest in going to “cool” Canadian grocery stores with my retired partner, Nathan Fillion. And I was Indian. And had a little Indian daughter.

Honestly, it’s not until the following morning that I realize I previously forgot to take my pill, because forget the shaky feeling and the awkward vision effects – I DREAMED ABOUT BEING A CON-ARTIST WITH NATHAN FILLION. Clearly. I may have always been  a dream-in-color person, but even I can clearly tell the difference between a normal dream and a dream with a plot and a resolution!

I was also a great con-artist. With killer dark hair. It was long.

I will now sign off before I completely destroy anyone’s  faith in me (that’s still reading, ha.)

Consistency

Consistency seems to be something I can’t quite get down. Frosting consistency? Of course, good there. Maybe practice does make perfect – the more I make cupcakes, the better my consistency or form gets. Mayhaps it will be the same for my posting? (Doubtful.)

But, here I am. Trying again. Remember this girl?

Her sweet little face, albeit a bit more mature now, woke me at 4:47 because she had a nightmare. This has become a regular occurrence and I’m just kinda wanting to be done. That sounds mean, a lot meaner than it sounds when I say it out loud. But, now that we’re “done” with adding to our family, I think part of me just assumed they’d grow up really fast and I’d be missing all these late night interruptions. HA. Enter the five-year-old. DON’T WORRY MOM. I’LL HELP YOU REMEMBER. (Wow, I just saw the plate in the background of that photo. See the bacon bits? I’m pretty sure that’s where the crazy happy smile is from. She loooooved bacon bits. Whatever works, right?)

But regardless of the late night awakenings and the parade of “I can’t sleep”, “Charlie’s too loud”, “I’m too hot”, “I just can’t keep my eyes closed”, and so forth… she still is pretty cute. And she draws Doctor Who and  TARDIS pictures for me. That about evens it out, right?

In other non-night-owl related news, we’ve been up to a lot around here. Well, maybe not that much. It just feels like a lot. The garden is in, we’re getting ready for mulch in the flower beds, and our first gladiolus bloomed yesterday. Cameron has a new job, with a credit union this time, and has enjoyed blowing away his superiors with his quick-pick-up and the ease at which this man throws products. (Surprise, surprise.)

With Daddy back to work, we’ve been slowly easing back into some semblance of a schedule at home. The girls still miss Daddy, I miss being able to yell “your turn!” when Rachael melts down over something or Charlie decides that shaking her water cup all over the table and her lunch is more fun than eating her lunch, but most of all we just plain miss Daddy. It’s hard adjusting to having a spouse home, but it’s just as hard as adjusting to then not having one at home.

Thursdays are still fun for me, really it’s the day I look forward to each week! Well, most weeks. Once a month I go to Woodburn Quilting Society for a quilting lesson which I absolutely look forward to EVERY month. And then once a month I go to a Sit & Sew put on by the Woodburn Quilting Society! Both are held in the same place, same time, mostly the same people – just one has a lesson and one doesn’t. Ultimately it breaks down to two days a month that I get to go and do something quilting related for three hours and it’s pure bliss. I never realized how much I would absolutely ADORE quilting. But I do! I’ve signed up for two different swaps in the past couple of weeks and I nearly died when I had to miss our last quilting lesson due to how sick I was last week. It was a rough Thursday. And I was still sick. I wasn’t kidding when I said I looked forward to those meetings! The excitement over the swaps is helping to make up for it but I’m still counting the days until our next lesson.

In other news, I’m still making cupcakes. CUPCAKES. Seriously, I just love cupcakes. If this works out and really becomes the ultimate Melissa endeavor, I’d be such a happy girl. Forever. My Cookies & Cream Cupcake (no real title yet) was to DIE FOR. Photos will be updated on the Wookieecakes section shortly.

The kids and I went to the library (sans Duncan) after a long FEE-induced-hiatus. AHEM, CHILDREN. Basically, I ran out of money and banned my children from returning. Wasn’t a happy mama. But who am I kidding? I’ve missed it terribly and the kids of course kept whining over it, so I caved. I picked up a graphic novel (Olivia and I are trying to read the same books together, per her request) called Bake Sale. I paused halfway through and gushed to Cam about how much this book was making me want to push to lease a place and stick with the original 5-year-plan. It’s hard to be patient and I’m not ready yet, but we probably should play it by ear for a while and see how it goes. But ohmycute, Cupcake’s bakery was SO cute. I mean seriously, can I be a cupcake… making cupcakes?

I also got some quilting books. Need I say more?

All right, not much on the docket today except for more work on the Marvel mini quilt, possibly some cupcakes, and definitely some cleaning to make up for when I was sick last week. On second thought, that does sound like “much” for today.

Cupcakes making cupcakes… who knew?

 

Spring Break Hump Day

Have we really made it? Are we really HALF way through this… uh “glorious” week? Happy Hump Day to parents all over the Spring Break world! We’ve made it!

I think our week has been a lot like this post – a little discombobulated and random. But it was still full of sweet nerdlings (albeit loud and sometimes obnoxious) and some good days thrown in the mix too. Here’s a sweet wee one demonstrating her two basic stances: still and not-still.

Now to survive the next two days + a weekend.

My kids have been suffering from “we’re not doing aaaannyyything for Spring Break?!” fever since they got out of school three days early due to Parent Teacher Conferences. Gotta love the extra time right? Not so much. The conferences were nice though, I feel like we actually discovered, worked on, and found solutions for either problems or “good” problems like having a daughter who desperately needs that extra work to keep her over-the-top brain going! Usually we just go in and nod and “uh-huh, oh good,” etc. We actually spoke and expressed concerns or praised things that were tried and successful. It felt like we actually accomplished something.

To celebrate my Hump Day for this delightful BREAK (ha) I’m making Red Velvet cupcakes in some damask-wedding-esque liners to try and appeal to the more wedding side of this business. Or, attempt. It was suggested that I shoot for weddings and party gatherings to start and it’s a great idea. I have lots of ideas how we could display the cupcakes and as a side project I may even draw up a few ideas and post them to hold myself accountable. One would need Styrofoam and lots and lots of frosting. But it could be fun! Perhaps a good summer project.

In other news, I’m trying to keep up on my water intake. Not something all that exciting. But when you go from downing water bottle after water bottle to a 10-oz glass a day? Not the best switch! I used to be fine with my water intake but due to stress and just the usual busy excuses I’ve been horrible about it. I’ve felt it too! Even on my run days, I still feel sluggish and exhausted. I miss that rush of energy I get from exercising. Water water water.

Well, with a child to deliver (to the great-grandparents!), fabric waiting and calling my name (trip to Joann’s! woo!), and cupcakes once I arrive back home… this day is far from over. Enjoy your hump day and let’s hope I survive Spring Break.