Sunday, May 29, 2011

A bit crafty.

I've started putting the crystals onto my skating dress and its going faster than I thought it would.

I cut the colored strips for the quilt, but need to do the white ones and those will be more of a pain.

And, pictured, I made a fabric belt.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Body by Vi day 2

Today instead of a milk shake I had a fruit blender (not icy, so it wasn't really a shake.) I had milk, my powder scoop, a banana, and 5 frozen strawberries. It was infinity more drinkable. No forcing it down at all. I could taste the powder, but the strawberry banana flavor was excellent. And, it kept me full until bedtime, a big plus.

Not a good shopping trip

Today I went to Joann's for their memorial day sale. I spent WAY more than I planned, and not on exciting stuff. I thought interfacing was on sale (the whole reason I went) and got interfacing for two of the Amy Butler bags. It was not on sale. It cost $30.

Then, they didn't have the size magnetic snaps I needed :(
And I didn't get elastic for my skating pants...

Finally, I got the same pattern TWICE. I keep a google doc spreadsheet to make sure I don't buy duplicate patterns. This does not help if you are an idiot who takes the same pattern out of the drawers twice. They are even the same size...
At least it was only $1. I guess this way if I cut it and then want to make it again, I can just cut it again rather than try to get the pieces flat again. Or if I need another size I can do that without much trouble. I never trace $1 patterns, it's just not worth the effort.

This is supposed to be a crafting weekend, but I'm stuck on a homework assignment and have done nothing. Tomorrow I need to put rhinestones on a dress. Maybe I'll have time to cut out pieces for the quilt, or get started on one of the bags...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Body by Vi

So I started a new diet program on the recommendation of a facebook (previously splitcoaststampers) friend. You can see in the picture the shake mix, half of my dinner shake left, and 5 packets of "flavor".

It is the Body by Vi Shape Up Shakes. They are meal replacement shakes- 2 a day.
They are kind of expensive for a bag of powder, but not too bad if they are really replacing the meal- like $2 a meal, including shipping.

The slogan on them is "the shake mix that tastes like cake mix" and it is nearly impossible to find a negative review. Well, there is a reason for that- it is a multi-level direct sales program. AND customers who aren't distributors can get a free month if they refer 3 people, so everyone* will benefit if they can get someone to sign up. Well, if you read the asterick, you know I don't actually benefit- so here's my honest review. It tastes good, for a diet shake. (Like "skates really well, for an adult...") The flavor is good, but at the end of every sip, it just tastes like powder. It's not overwhelming, but I can taste the sucralose in it. I hate sucralose. By the end of the shake- it tasted pretty disgusting, but the first 2/3 of the shake were okay..

I made my first shake just with skim milk and ice cubes, tomorrow i'll add frozen strawberries in, and see if that improves the shake. There are also the flavor packets- but why use those? Just add in real fruit, not more powder.

Quiet honestly, if it helps me kick start the weight loss, I don't care how it tastes.

*Right now I won't actually benefit because I don't have an auto shipment set up. If you want to try it, comment and I'll give you my friend's link. They automatically sign you up for auto ship which I do not like, so I cancelled it immediately. Which was easy to do. If I decide to stick with the program i'll go back on autoship, and i might even post the link for referrals, but I promise I won't pester.

Weekend Plans

Assuming all homework gets done, my weekend will be filled with quilting (probably mostly cutting). My connecting threads order arrived. I love the colors! (I also got fabric for a bag that is not pictured...)

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Spaghetti is pretty much my favorite meal. One of the only things I would eat consistently growing up, and still my favorite thing to eat.

In college, I learned a new variety called "noodles". Noodles is usually shell pasta, but if I don't have shells on hand, I'll use spaghetti. It consists of pouring in a can of Hunt's Tomato Sauce and a spoonful of butter. If I'm feeling fancy, I'll add some pepper and garlic. This disgusts Kevin, but if my favorite way to eat pasta now.

However, I have a feeling I'm in for something a bit more fancy:

For graduation, my parents got Kevin a pasta extruder (think play-doh factory) for his Kitchen Aid stand mixer. He made Rigatoni the last night my Mom was in town, and last night he made me half-wheat spaghetti. Of course, I could probably do the typical "noodles" sauce on this pasta, but since he's making it, he's also eating it, so we are using real sauces (store bought jars still- I can make a great spaghetti sauce but it's a PITA!)

Last night we bought Cheddar and Fontina to make Macaroni and Cheese. I bet the homemade macaroni are awesome.

The best part- unlike normal pasta, which I think is maybe too thin, this stuff reheats really well. At least the rigatoni did. It tasted as good, if not better, after reheating.

The worst part- no Angel hair, Texas, or shell attachment. (Texas shape? For some reason, Skinner Texas pasta is the absolute best. Angel Hair is my second favorite. Then shells...)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wow, Amazon! That was quick.

So yesterday, I was thinking about a free PDF from Sew Mama Sew- The Blossom Bag. The bag is INCREDIBLE, so much so, that rather than just make it up from the pdf, I wanted the author to get paid for the work, so I bought the book.

I ordered the book from amazon yesterday a little before lunch. And today, I assume a little before lunch (because that's when Kevin brings the mail in) it arrived at my house. We do have Amazon Prime- but that's 2 day, not overnight. What speed!

So, what do I think of the book? Well, the Blossom Bag is without a doubt the best project in it. It's not a very expensive book (especially considering how expensive Amy Butler patterns are), so it might be worth it just for the pretty pictures, but there aren't too many projects that jump out at me. But- the Blossom Bag is advanced, so I plan to make one other one first. And there are two others that I like.

The book's subtitle is "12 easy ways to 26 wonderful bags"
It might as well say infinite wonderful bags, because what it considers a variation is very slight- in most cases, it is a change of handle, possibly a change of size. If a long handle vs short handle is a variation, so is a fabric change- that's how I calculated infinite!

The book contains a pocket in the back with all the pattern pieces, full size. It will be tough to get them all back into the pocket after unfolding, but a much better idea then printing the patterns scaled down in the book- scaling up is a PITA.

Here are the 12 bags, and my thoughts:

Cosmo Bag - I loved this bag on first sight. On second sight- it's HUGE! I wonder if there is a way to scale it down. It has two variations: long handle, short handle

Reversible Everyday Shopper- Cute pattern, probably one I will make. No variations, but it is reversible.

Origami Bag Set- Six different sizes of zipper bags. These don't seem too different from the zillion different zipper bag patterns you can get on the internet, but a lot of variety all in one place means you won't google forever for the perfect pattern, I suppose.

Beautiful Balance Checkbook Cover
- An outdated idea (not many people use checkbooks anymore), but I'll probably make this one just because it's cute. Right now I just have a loose book of checks floating in my skating bag.

Perfectly Pleated Clutch- A cute purse, but I'm not a clutch person. It looks very formal, and cloth bags aren't formal- are they? 3 size variations.

Teardrop Bag- a cute bag, I'll probably make one of them. It has 2 size variations, but no handle variations. If they had done short handles, they could have claimed 28 bags. Short handles would look good.

Key Keeper Coin Purse - This is kind of goofy looking because it's the same shape as the teardrop bag, but it's a coin bag. It looses cuteness in the scale down.

Fringed Hobo Bag - This bag is absolutely absurd. Who needs a bag this big? Available as small or large, but both sizes are huge. And the fringe is so not my thing.

Blossom Handbag/Shoulder Bag - the bag from the pdf above- Gorgeous and a must have! 2 strap size variations available.

Everything Wristlet -This appears to be a formal clutch with a wrist strap. I think there is a disconnect between formal clutch and cotton print fabrics. I expect to see this in bridal silk or something. Two sizes.

Miss Maven Ruffled Handbag
- I like the idea, but it's not my thing. Again, it's a very large bag for the style. (2 sizes, but both seem big). Maybe if the person carrying it was a very stylish person they'd pull it off, but I'd look silly.

Take Flight Handbag/Shoulder Bag- I love this one, but the retro look is something I'm unlikely to actually do. Comes in 2 sizes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This chapter is closed....

Congratulations Kevin!!!!

I can't even tell you how proud I was during the commencement. And a little jealous; growing up I always wanted a PhD. Oh, and freezing. But I don't think freezing is an emotion. (Kevin says it was insanely hot down on the floor.)

The first chapter of our marriage was in Ohio, where Kevin was in the Air Force. When he separated, we began the next chapter, here in Iowa. And after about 5 years, this chapter is closed. We both have jobs here in Iowa, so it looks like the next chapter will continue here in Iowa. I'm not sure what that chapter will be... but I'm sure whatever it is, it will be great!
(I'd say an adventure, but man am I boring, I'm not sure anything I do can be called adventurous!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Product Review: Olay Massaging Soap

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I am obsessed with soap. I like to buy handmade soap from a few different places (and shampoo bars) but I'm not anti-store bought soap either (even though it's really detergent).

I also am a lover of a good massage. My back and my legs are in constant pain. So when I saw the massaging soap bar commercials, I thought that might be something good for me. (I've seen forms for handmaking this kind of soap too.)

Compared to handmade soap- around $5 a bar- the stuff is down right cheap. I got 4 bars for about $6.99 at the grocery store. This is in line with the other bars I like, Dove Winter Care (so moisturizing!) and Dove Gentle Exfoliating (I like the scrubby feel, and it's fairly moisturizing too.) The comparison prices I found on amazon for winter care were 8 for $9.99 and for exfoliating was 2 for $4.40. Not sure what they cost in store, but it's about that.

So what did I think of the soap?

Well first, the massage feature is divine. It felt AMAZING on my legs, but it was too painful on my arms (which have some pressure/pain issues). I can't really reach my back well enough to use it there, so for my arms and back I used the smooth side of the soap to wash, hoping to not wear down the massage nubs.

And that's the main problem. The massage feature only lasts for maybe 3-4 washes. And that was using it JUST on my legs. After that, you have a normal bar of soap.

The scent I got was "Purely Pristine". I have no idea what that means, but it was vaguely floral. It was nice, and not overbearing, but I almost think it wasn't strong enough to create a pleasant shower experience. I'm not a real perfumey person, but this you practically had to sniff the soap to smell it.

It lathered really nicely, and the soap looks like it's fancy. It has glycerin insets so it looks like something expensive from a bath and body store.

I don't think I would use this as a winter soap, because while my skin doesn't feel dry after using it, it does have that "tight and clean" feeling. Iowa winters demand major moisturizer, but Iowa spring you don't need quite as much.

Final verdict: I like it, but not as much as the other two soaps I mentioned. Will buy again if the price is right.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No fabric this weekend...

Although I did round 2 on the leggings (looking better, need round 3) this week, I didn't do anything crafty this weekend.

I had an ice skating show that went well, and am starting on my second class towards my Masters. Those take so much time! Only 10 more classes left to go -hahaha- I JUST started.