Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sewing On the Horizon

So, I know you are all, like, soooo desparate to know about my upcoming sewing projects, so rather than prolong your misery any longer, I'm totally gonna tell you ALL ABOUT IT.

I can just imagine your excitement. Please, please, sit back down and put the champagne away. You can open it after.

So, I went to the fabric shop today and bought fabric for two projects. First, I bought some fabric to make my sister-in-law, Katie, an apron for her birthday. It is turquoise with brown polka-dots, with a contrasting fabric of brown with turquoise polka-dots. She said she's been wanting a new apron, but as for having it done by her birthday, well... we'll see.

I also bought some sweet pink cherry fabric for the curtains in the girls' room. The curtains they have hanging are from the old house, where we had normal ceilings. But here in our new house we have the big, high ceilings, so the curtains only hang halfway down the window. I'd been looking for some new curtains, when I saw in a magazine a brilliant (and kinda 'duh') idea; cut the bottom foot off the curtains, and sew in a panel of contrasting fabric between the two original panels to elongate your curtains! Of course! So, I'm going to cut the bottom of the pink curtains off, and sew in about a metre of the cherry fabric between the top and bottom of the pink. It's gonna be so cute!

So there you have it. I bet you are just so, so glad I told you all that. I knew you would be. Okay, you can open up that bottle now and celebrate the awesomeness of my sewing update.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blog Topics for Middle School

I've been on a fairly good roll lately of blogging, and in an effort to keep that up, I just opened Blogger, placed my fingers upon the keys and thought. What could I write about? I mentally scanned the day to see if I recalled anything I did that would be worth blogging about. The thoughts that ran through my mind including Fifi's chicken pox, washing the car with Grampa, Footloose dance rehearsal, my windowsill garden, tidying the house...

Ew, dull, too sore to dwell on, not bothered, boring.

So I did what all great writers do with writer's block; I hit Google. With my handy browser search tool, I typed in 'blog topics for -' and before I get any further, a whole list appeared of suggestions. Students, women, kids, moms, business, myspace, wpmu (?). And Middle School. Interested, I chose that option and visited the first link listed. The article, about helping Middle School students improve their journalistic skills, listed a few topics one might want to impose upon a class of pre-teens. Inspired, I chose:

Which super power do you wish you had? How would you use it to do good?
by Lori McFarlane

If I had the choice of granting myself one super power, it would have to be teleportation. Gone would be the days of having to sit in traffic, or rush through amber lights in order to get to places on time, or dress the kids in mismatched clothes just to get them out the door so we aren't late everywhere we go. We'd just teleport, and we'd make it everywhere on time, with no wait.

Sadly, like all super powers, this would never really be as useful as one might think. No, instead, we'd probably wait until the last minute and still have to throw on pajama pants in order to get Fifi to nursery. We'd still be running around like mad looking for shoes, uniforms, special toys and house keys up until the last minute. But at least I'd never have to sit in traffic.

And I could give up driving, unless my ability to teleport extended no further than just myself. Oh dear, if I couldn't teleport the kids along with me, what would be the point? I'd still have to drive to get them anywhere! Well, at least I could pop downstairs to take the bin out, while only leaving them alone for the least amount of time possible. Though they'd still probably manage to paint the kitchen with marmalade in even that short amount of time.

I'm beginning to rethink this teleportation thing. How would I use it for good? Well, I suppose if Scott left his sandwiches at home, I could teleport to his work quickly and drop them off at his desk. If our damned estate agents claimed again that their letting manager was 'out of the office', I could teleport into the office to see if they're just lying to avoid me. If I got all the way home from the grocery store just to realise I forgot Scott's beer, I could pop back in quickly without him even noticing. See, there is lots of good a super power like teleportation could do.

But then... there's a lot of bad. I could spy on spouses who are suspected of cheating. I could nip out in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping and steal a package of chocolate chip cookie dough from Tesco and eat it in seclusion. I could appear and reappear in different rooms at parties and freak people out. Though, all of those could be classified as good, depending on which way you look at it.

Wow, this super power business carries with it a lot of moral responsibilities. I've changed my mind. My new super power would be the ability to move things with my mind. Yes, perpetually tidy house, here I come.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Supermarket Game

First I'm going to point out that it's 11.15pm, and Lolly is STILL awake. She's decided she's had enough sleeping for one lifetime.


Second, I'm very excited and want to talk about it!

"What?!" I hear you thinking. "I wonder what news she has! Is she pregnant? Did she win the lottery? Did she get a part in that musical?"

No, no, and, well, yes actually.

But that's not what I'm so excited about.

I'm excited, because I budgeted £35 in The Supermarket Game, and only spent £21! AND I got everything on my list!

(Except the chocolate chip cookie dough. They must only sell that at the Greenock Tesco. I was rather gutted, considering I'd put it on the shopping list and budgeted for it and everything, but in the end, I suppose I didn't exactly NEED it...)

And now, I can hear you thinking "Supermarket Game? Is she just randomly capitalising words like she's Emily Dickinson, or is this actually a game? And is it a real game, can I Google it, or did she just make it up?"

I made it up. But it's got real rules and everything. And it's awesome. It's transformed my grocery shopping habits FOR REAL.

You see, some of you, if you are loyal Scott and Lori blog readers, or stalkers, or both, you'll know that I have a problem with shopping. Grocery shopping. I have a real problem sticking to a list. So then I overspend, and then I feel guilty, and then I have to borrow from next week's budget, etc etc etc. Well all that has changed with The Supermarket Game.

(In case this comes back to bite/sue me, I do not have a trademark for this name and could very easily be stealing it from someone who does own the trademark. Sorry if the latter is the case.)

Here's how it works.

The Supermarket Game (by Lori)
Pre-Game Preparation:

*Make a breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack menu for one full week.
*Break that menu down into a list of things to buy.
*Do not forget to add non-food items such as toilet roll and shampoo that you ordinarily buy with your shopping.

Game Step 1:
*Break the list down into the different shops you will get each item in.
*Within each shop, next to each item, predict the price. You can get as detailed as you like, though I'm mathematically challenged and prefer to round up or down to the nearest 50p.
*Tally up each shop's price list, and this is your budget for that shop.
*Beside that number, tally up the number of items. This is for the bonus round.

Game Step 2 (Budget Round):

*Give yourself 1 point for each item that is priced below your prediction or exactly your prediction. You could give yourself 2 points for exact predictions.
*Give yourself no points for prices above your prediction.
*Deduct 1 point for any extra items you pick up while in the shop.
*Neither give nor deduct any points for items not on the list but genuinely needed.
*At the end, if your receipt price is under your budget or exacly your budget, you WIN the Budget Round. But if it goes over your budget, you LOSE the Budget Round. BUT...
*Tally up your points you accumulated from your predictions. If the number of points is close to your number of items counted for the Bonus Round, you can give yourself an A, B, C, D or F by calculating your score like in school (for example, if you get 20 out of 30, you'd get a 66%, which is a D). So you may not WIN, but you could still get an A or a B.

Bonus Round:
*This is the hardest one to win. Go back to your number of items and if you only bought that number of items or less, you win the Bonus round! Even if your budget went over and you lost the Budget round, you could still win the Bonus round!

And that's it, folks. That's The Supermarket Game. And it's crazy, but I have never felt so in control of my grocery shopping before in my life.

And now maybe you'll understand why I'm so happy. Because for the first time ever, I've not only won the Budget round, I won the Bonus round!

I wish I had some raw chocolate chip cookie dough to celebrate with.

Friday, May 21, 2010

General Update (Since It's Been So Long)

Since I haven't been blogging in a long while, I'd do a quick overall update.

My lovely daughters are growing up so much. And the past few days have been really lovely with them. Fifi has started coming out with some of the funniest things. Just to name a few (for posterity):
* She asked me for some chocolate or something else that I wasn't going to give her, and she started counting to three at me!
* She's been listening to me practice for my audition for Footloose (see below) and without my realising it, learned the songs along with me. So imagine my face when she heard her baby sister crying one morning, and came running into the room, started gently rubbing her back and softly sang "Where have all the good men gone, and where are all the gods?"

Lolly too is really growing up. She still calls everything 'shoes' but is signing a lot of words. It's really cute having a whole conversation with her using only words 'shoes' and 'dubbadee', whatever that means.

Yes, as I mentioned above, I auditioned for Footloose. I haven't done any acting since high school, but after going to see a few of the amateur shows locally, I decided I wanted to go for it again. So I auditioned. And I got a (tiny) part! I was honestly just hoping for anything at all, so I'm very happy with the part I got. So, show's in September; who's coming?!

Scott and I are going away for a night in Callander tomorrow, kid-free! It's gonna be awesome. We also won a free two-night stay in Tain at the Glenmorangie House. We don't know what we'll do with it, considering they never mentioned if meals were included or what not (not to mention we have two kids to think about), but it's still exciting to win something!

I also made a dress tonight. About two years ago at the Craft Fair at the SECC, I bought a couple of metres of some beautiful French fabric and had been holding onto it for ages to make something special out of it. So about a year ago, I cut out the pieces to a dress but was still too chicken to make it. Well, tonight, with my sewing machine still out from last night's project, I decided to go for it. I learned some hard lessons (like sometimes patterns don't make sense until it's too late, and don't use stretchy fabric if you don't know how to keep it from pulling). But overall, the dress looks okay, and I'll still wear it. After all, I really like the fabric!

The other thing worth mentioning is how clean my house is! It's a pure delight to walk into my house right now with how clean it is. The only room that needs work is the kitchen, which both Scott and I keep putting off. It's just the handwashing which is piling up, and I keep saying I'll do it after the kids are in bed... and then all I want to do is veg. And the floors need swept, but it sort of crushes my soul each time I sweep because have you seen the way kids eat? But all that will be done before we leave for Callander so I can come home to the most peaceful, tidy, happy home imaginable.


And eh, that's about it for now.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Craft Night, Maybe?

I've spent the whole day cleaning. We had a surveyor over today to do a Home Report (landlady is selling the house), so I wanted the house to look... decent, at least. But once I got started, I couldn't stop. So the good news is, my house (with the exception of post-dinner kitchen) is sparkling. The bad news is I'm EXHAUSTED. And the kiddos (namely, Lolly) have gone into a very awful non-sleeping phase, so I can't even fully relax tonight.

(And speak of the devil, Lolly just woke up.)

Anyway, Lolly awake or not, I fully intend to do something enjoyable tonight. I've gotten the sewing machine out, and I'd like to complete a quick project I've been meaning to do for weeks. I've got a large square of leftover fabric which Fifi has adopted as a blanket. So I've been wanting to line it in some matching satin binding which I just happen to have so she can use it properly without the edges fraying.

Then I'd like to get out my cardmaking stuff and make a few cards. I've got some half-finished cards lying around, waiting for some stuff to be glued on, so I want to do that tonight too.

All the while watching daft TV box sets. Right now I've got on That 70's Show, but I'm not really feeling it. Might switch it out for Season One of The O.C. or perhaps Gilmore Girls.

But Lolly is still crying, and while I know Scott is kindly trying to deal with it for me, the senstive mother in me can't handle it and will probably convince me to go feed her instead.

So we'll see if I get my night off after all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fifi's Blog Entry

The Zoo

The penguins. The giraffe. And the tiger. And the zebra. And the monkey. Lion.

They go 'oohhooooaaahooh!'. The monkeys.

I don't care about the zoo. Let's play Snap instead.