Saturday, April 30, 2011

"dress" with a surprise

I have really been itching to sew something, but I don't have any usable sewing fabric at the moment. I went through my items that need to be redesigned and picked out this hideous old urban outfitters pilgrim dress. (see the picture below*).

I kept it as a dress, cut off the sleeves and cut a deep V in the front and back, but after sewing all the hems, I wasn't into it. So I hacked off the top, added an elastic waist and made a skirt.

The secret is...I didn't make the top, it's actually a

I used to do that when I was younger and I forgot about it. But I LOVE sweetheart strapless tops (and sweetheart strapless dresses.) This is the lazy way out. You have to tie the back very tight though and be careful that something doesn't happen (or your top falls off!).

Here's how to do it:

*P.S. Here is the hideous pilgrim dress. Yes, YES I actually wore it before. Dear god. I wore this? Don't judge me too hard, I was a graduate student at the time. (That cuts me some slack, right?). I got it on clearance for $10 at UO. No wonder it was on clearance.

Friday, April 29, 2011

happy friday (and last day of teaching!)

Ah, today is the last day of class. This week has been so busy. Students are continually streaming in and out of my office. So many are always convinced that a miracle can happen during the last week or so of the semester when they haven't cared about the class previously.

Next week finals! Then a break. (I am teaching a summer class though.)


P.S. Sorry for a lack of posts. I've been swamped at work helping to hire someone new and wrap up my semester and Eric and I have had several things on our calendars in the evenings.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My cousin Tana is staying in Kenya for several months to help film a documentary. I imagine her first day getting over there was something like this:

Song: Jamba Bwana by Kenyan musician Teddy Kalanda Harrison

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Thursday!

I have tomorrow off, so today is Happy Thursday!

Tonight Meg and I are going to see Cut Copy at Stubb's.

Monday, April 18, 2011

perfect Sunday afternoon.

Barbecued meats, homemade sides and rolls, red wine, friends and Scrabble.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

play me, I'm yours

I'm loving the pianos around Austin. (Thanks Luke Jerram.)

Friday, April 15, 2011


YESSSS FRIDAY! What a long week. I got observed in my classroom on Tuesday, and it couldn't have been much worse. My students worked on a group worksheet with some challenging problems and then I asked each group to explain the correct answer. ONE out of the five groups got their problem right, and their explanations were so off base. It was embarrassing. I would ask prompting questions to have them get on track to get the right answer and they couldn't answer my basic questions. I thought some of the brightest students in the class could save the rest of the class at times, but even they failed me that day. Sigh. They are one of my weakest classes I have taught so I try not to take some of what happens to heart.

A highlight of my week was going to Jeffrey's with Eric, Kathy, and her boyfriend Chris. We decided to go because it's Restaurant Week in Austin, making dinner there a little more affordable. (Jeffrey's is, by the way, rumored to be George Bush's favorite restaurant in Austin.) The food was delicious. I had the Crispy Oysters Split appetizer, the Flounder Pecan Meunièr entree, and the Passionfruit & White Chocolate Semifreddo dessert. Everything was delicious. One of the appetizers didn't make it out, and when it did, it was the wrong one (which we didn't even say anything, but they figured it out.) They brought out the right appetizer and later another small mistake happened (not sure what it was), and the manager came over and personally apologized to us and let us know she would be sending us glasses of champagne and an extra dessert. They sent out all of that, AND a beautiful cheese plate too! We were so incredibly stuffed that we couldn't even eat the cheese plate, but they boxed up all of our leftovers for us. We had a great time and I was genuinely impressed by how great and personable our experience was.

I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend. I hope you have one too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

eyeglass cleaner recipe

We go through quite a bit of eyeglass cleaner around here. All you need to make the cleaner is:
2 parts water
1 part rubbing alcohol
a few drops of dish soap

(For the small squirt bottle I use, I only add one small drop of dish soap.)

Monday, April 11, 2011


Riley got my package and look at her wearing the little headband I made her. So cute.

(you really should click on the picture to enlarge it. her expression cracks me up.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We've been going on a lot of walks to play with our new camera.

^boy getting sick of me snapping photos.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

easiest purse in the world

I stopped by a large garage sale this morning full of old restaurant items like wine glasses, plates, coffee cups, decor, and bar stools. I ended up buying three thick tablecloths in pretty colors and a large vase.

I wanted to make a dress out of one of the fabrics, but I don't have any matching zippers around. I threw together a little purse instead. The outside is leftovers from the curtains I made for the bedroom and the inside is from a yellow thick tablecloth.

To make one, you just sew two bags separately - the outside fabric and the liner.

And then you put the liner bag inside the outer bag. (You put the liner bag inside the other inside out..)

Next you can make your button strap.

Then sew your button strap in as you sew the outer seam that sews the liner to the bag.

and sew your button on..


Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Happy Friday.

Tonight I get to see Penn and Teller! Eric's mom and stepdad treat us to all sorts of neat shows at the Paramount Theatre. Since August, they've taken us to see Omara Portuondo, Jon Oliver, and Ira Glass. Tonight is Penn and Teller and in a couple weeks they're taking us to see David Sedaris! (!!!)

AND I got to meet Ira Glass too because they were invited to a small event before his show..


photo compliments of the Paramount Theatre.

cupcake pincushion

My friend Lauren made me this pincushion. She used a silicon baking cup as the base. (She also gave me a jar of her homemade hot sauce, which I can't get enough of, and a jar of the pear butter she made too!)

I normally only post things that I make, but her little pincushion was too cute.

P.S. Lauren, if you're reading, I am sorry I haven't written you back yet. I promise I will.

Monday, April 4, 2011

went for it!

Tonight I bought a used Nikon D50 DSLR!

Better blog pictures soon. (I have to learn to use it though..) Above is a quick photo Eric snapped of me.

Friday, April 1, 2011

happy friday!

Happy Friday!

Today was full of good surprises. I responded too late to a craig's list bike over a week ago. She told me that if something fell through with the person buying it, she'd let me know. Knowing that wouldn't happen, I kept looking other places.

I gave up after a while.

But today I checked my email and the first buyer never showed! So today I got my new bike. I'm SO happy to have something to commute with. I hate commuting with my nice road bike. I still have on the seat that I biked cross-country with, and that seat is SO hard. And narrow. How in the hell I biked for so long and for so many hours on that thing is beyond me. Oh wait, there were dozens of saddle sores (sorry) and my butt was always sore at the beginning.

Here's my new commuter:

I love it!

My other surprise is that I got invited to a BBQ by someone I recently met! Eric and I are going to bring some ground venison to make burgers and the pita I baked last night (yep, another batch!). It's a little more like flatbread. If I rolled it out a little thinner, I think that would make it more pita-ish. The bread makes the best lunch sandwich bread! Eric has requested I start making it on a regular basis.

The sandwich I'm making for us tomorrow is a mock mopac sandwich. (The mopac sandwich is an Austin Whole Foods sandwich that comes on flatbread and is loaded with chicken, pepperoni, provolone, chipotle mayo, and guacamole. It's pressed, too. We love it.) I have everything except the guac. I know, I know. But it's still SO GOOD. I bought a half smoked chicken at WF a couple days ago and that's the chicken I'm using in the sandwiches.

I'm rambling. Have a good weekend! Don't be fooled today!