Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Building a workbench

Chris' mom flew out to Colorado to be with his sister Caroline while she recovers from knee surgery. The surgery was Tuesday and she seems to doing great! Since his mom was going to be in Colorado for two weeks, we invited his dad to come visit us over the long weekend. We had a great time! We had to introduce Jay to our favorite new restaurant: Archie Moore's in Fairfield. Chris and I have been there a handful of times and always order the same thing- he gets 14 wings and I get a honey BBQ chicken wrap with sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries...I'm hungry just thinking about them. Is there anything better than sweet potato fries? I'm not sure. Anyway, it was fun to see something new off the menu (Jay ordered the Mongolian steak sandwich with sweet potato fries, of course.)

While I was busy making pillow covers for our living room that weekend, Chris and Jay were busy with a project of their own. Saturday morning they went to Home Depot to purchase supplies to build a workbench down in the basement. The building started Saturday afternoon and finished up on Sunday morning. At first I couldn't really figure out where they were going with it...

But it quickly started shaping into something that resembled a workbench!

Using Liquid Nails to glue down the top...

Framing up the wall...
And here is the finished project! Didn't they do a great job?

Now the vice I got Chris for Christmas finally has a permanent home. Well done, guys! It looks great!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Get your sew on

I think I'm getting the hang of this sewing thing! I'm still such a beginner (when I want to try anything new I have to pour over the instruction manual) but I figure the best way to learn is to do. So far, so good! It's amazing how I can just take a yard or two of fabric and turn it into something fun and functional. And thanks to google, I have a plethora of patterns at my fingertips.

I found the pattern for this market bag here. I bought one yard each of two different fabrics and will be able to make two bags. Here's the first one.

The best part is that the bag is totally reversible! I only left a 1/4 inch seam allowance so I'm nervous to put anything heavier than maybe cotton balls in it, but live and learn! I'll leave a wider hem next time.

Next I wanted to try my hand at pillow covers. The benefit of a removable pillow cover instead of a fully enclosed pillow is that I can just take the pillow forms and add more stuffing to them if they ever fall flat. What's even better, especially for someone with ever evolving taste like me, is that I can use the same pillows to change the look of our living room from season to season.

Here are the old pillows from Home Goods. I liked them a lot, but now they're flat and the stitches are coming undone.

Pillow forms were 50% off at Joann's plus I got a 15% teacher's discount on top of that- holla! There's a small zipper on one side for easy access to the stuffing inside.

Like the fabric? I was able to make two pillow covers from one yard.

And here is the finished product! I used this as a base pattern but tweaked it to get the look and size I wanted. I am super happy with how they turned out! And each pillow cost just under $10. Wahoo!

Happy Birthday to me!

It's been a few weeks since my birthday, but I had such a great day, I had to post a few pics anyway.

Some ladies from work wanted to take me out after school. They are a riot! Besides dinner, they brought one dozen red velvet cupcakes from a local bakery in Waterbury. Do they know me or what?

Speaking of red velvet, when I got home I discovered that my sweet husband was baking a homemade red velvet birthday cake! He also made filet mignon, roasted asparagus, and mashed potatoes for dinner. Yup, I know I'm spoiled. :)

Cari sent me not one but TWO king cakes for my birthday! This one is strawberry and cream cheese and the other is cinnamon. It looks pretty good for traveling all the way from Louisiana, huh? I love them, Cari, THANK YOU again!

My birthday tulips from the ladies at work. When I got them they were just green stems, and now they've blossomed into these beautiful yellow tulips! It gives me hope that spring is around the corner.

Thank you to friends near and far for a wonderful birthday!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Daily Show with Evie and Dave (oh, and Jon Stewart too)

Last Tuesday, Chris and I went into the city for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart! We found out back in the fall that we were getting tickets for the February 2 taping. We couldn't wait. Chris took a vacation day (he spent the morning doing a lot of MBA stuff) and I took a half day so we could drive into the city with time to spare.

I e-mailed Evie, a Teach For America friend who I met in Houston, is from Wisconsin, and now lives in NYC, to tell her we'd be in town and to see if she and her boyfriend Dave wanted to meet for dinner after the show. On a whim, Dave checked to see if the show was giving out any more tickets for the day and he was able to score two! So we were thrilled that we would get to watch the show with them.

The show distributes more tickets than they have seats for, so it's a first come, first serve basis. Lucky for us, Dave got there early and was able to get us a spot in line. (You can join friends in line up until a certain point before the show.) We really appreciate Dave and Evie getting there early and standing in the cold!

Brr...don't we look cold?
We ended up getting terrific seats in the audience and enjoyed a great show. They have a guy come out to warm up the crowd and he was a riot. Jon Stewart came out to answer questions from the audience and he had me laughing again. By the time the actual show was over my face was hurting from laughing so hard! :) Which was a good thing, since the show doesn't use a laugh track.

The guest was Brian Williams from NBC. Here is the interview: