No More Skirting the Issue: The Ride for Roswell Skirt Giveaway

Remember my Ride for Roswell?  Oh, that little 20-mile bike ride for cancer research fundraising?  The ride for which I trained with a shaky first ride and with a few rides full of panache and cycle style?

For which rain did not cooperate sometimes and for which I rode ghetto-unfabulous with a posse of my badass sisters for backup and commiseration?

For which I ate like a beast (sometimes during the actual bike rides)?

Baby Bel and I chomping on hot dogs

And which, of course, I rode with the coolest people on earth–my sisters and friends, not to mention all 8,000 other awesome Ride for Roswell participants?

As official a team photo as we could manage!

The unofficial shot--sisters scream silly Spanish swearwords, as per tradition

Yes, well…  All of that happened almost a month ago and I have been shamelessly neglectful in holding the Ride for Roswell Skirt Giveaway, due to some circumstances within my control (too much household craziness, chasing down some post-ride donations and pledges) and some outside of it (family issues, work craziness, flight delays, etc).

But no more!

I decided to go about this in a thoroughly unscientific way because math hurts my head on a Sunday night (as for the flash, the camera manual for my new DSLR also hurts my head on a Sunday, hence the glare–I’ll learn soon, I promise).  Each donor was allocated a number, which was entered once for every five dollars they donated:

How very scientific!

The numbers were folded up into itty bitty little squares and tossed in a most appropriate vessel–my scratched saucepan:

I know--it's time to replace this with better Teflon

Wherein they were tossed and shaken all about:

Boom shakalaka shake...

Shake it like a pan full of popcorn (go on, sing it to the tune of Outkast's "Hey Ya")

Then stirred for good measure:

The oatmeal spoon sees some night action, ooh la la

Before a winning number was pulled out:

The spoon is as impartial as I am!

Under the watchful eye of Umbi, who was monitoring proceedings for fairness and procedural propriety:

I swear his eyes are under there--and they're SERIOUSLY watchful...

And the winner is…. Kendra!

Woot woot!

Congratulations to the lovely Kendra!  I’ll be getting in touch to get measurements and ask for color/print preferences, etcetera.

I would also like to thank EVERYONE who donated and everyone who wished me well or even gave me and my silly team a thought on Ride for Roswell day.  We couldn’t have done this without you and I can’t wait to do it again next year–33 miles, here I come!

Advertisements

Welcome to the Sweatshop

Mamalicious, if you happen to be reading, stop right now and look away–this one’s about you (mostly)!

It has been a literal fashion sweatshop at my house for the last week, with the weekend hitting fever pitch of sewing mania. Did I seem distracted?  Blame it on the sewing.  Did I write lots of typos?  Blame it on the sewing.   Did I eat the most boring food alive?  Blame. It. On. The. Sewing.

There is a reason for this all, though.  As a condition of my six-week sojourn at Chez Mamalicious (the longest since I left home nine years ago–eek!), a list of Laura Must-Do’s has been issued to me.  These conditions include:

  • The almost-daily making of delicious lunches to the satisfaction of Mamalicious’s taste buds and dietary requirements (we’re talking lots of salad here, people)
  • The clearing out and cleaning up of basement and attic (hi, like I didn’t hate cleaning the basement when it flooded with yuckwaters last Christmas!  However, the attic is fair game, since that’s where the material evidence of my pre-Britain and pre-Trinidad life is boxed up–did you know I actually have “good cutlery” up in thurr?  Yeah, I forgot about it too…)
  • The making of a wardrobe for Mamalicious to teach in and leave her students agog at her fashionable adorableness

The first has been tackled appropriately, with a list of good eats for Mamalicious now living in my wallet, ready to be whipped out each time I think of something nice to add to it.  I hope she has a discount with a local funky-lettuce grower because, like I said, Mama and I are eating more (well-embellished) grass than the cows out in the fields this summer.

The second?  Ach.  I’m bringing a bottle of duty-free rum and a bottle of duty-free tequila into Chez Mamalicious to deal with clearing out the basement and attic.  I’m much better (read: reckless) at tossing old junk when I’m intoxicated–in fact, that’s the only way to do this, as far as I’m concerned.

The third?  Well, Mamalicious is getting the wardrobe I would have made myself this summer, had I not been slaving over making it for her.

I’m hooking her up with this skirt:

In these patterns:

She’s also getting a gorgeous shift dress similar to this one (the sleeveless belted one, possibly made A-line in the skirt):

In this beauty of a floral explosion:

And a shirt-dress like my very own beloved Frankensteined dress:

In this enviable navy-and-white abstract floral/blobby print:

With such cute, painstakingly-selected buttons that I almost regret making this for her instead of for me:

She’s also netting a few A-line shift dresses like this one:

In some gorgeous saturated solids–I’m thinking orange, a magenta of some kind, and a green, with fabrics to be procured over the next couple of days.  It’ll be easy sewing to keep busy with while I’m visiting–and she has about a week’s worth of summery work clothes that I’ll have made to tide her over while I work on those for about a week.

She’s got me so busy that I’ve had to forgo reading my guilty-pleasure George Pelecanos crime drama in the interest of getting these  selfish sewing endeavors finished:

Dress turned into skirt, with the help of some nice orange from my curtains (literally snipped off before sewing)

A yet-to-be-finished dress that needs a zipper and a hem

In other words, I’m giving up Dexter and DC crime for my Mama’s dresses.  If that doesn’t earn me free passes to her Zumba class and unlimited use of her bike (to train for my Ride For Roswell), I don’t know what does.  There’d better b a grand reception at the airport, complete with tulips and champagne, for her seamstress.  That’s all I’m saying.

Do you get sucked into any particular tasks when you go home?  Are there things you volunteer to do for the family when you go home to visit?

One thing I will happily and easily provide is a tuna lunch like today’s:

Tuna mixed with spicy mustard, mayo, lime zest, tomatoes, pepper, and black pepper, served on crunchy whole-wheat pita.  We’ll be seeing a lot of this, modeled on her pretty plates!  I can’t wait to use her lovely collection of plates and I’m sure that you can’t wait to see different plates either, so watch this space…

But before that, stay posted for my Core Fusion Sport review tomorrow. If I can move in the morning, that is.

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Note:  this is last night’s post.  It seems WordPress had a hissy fit and did not publish it, after all….

_____________

Today I feel like a rock that had been placed over my head.  I hate the Migraine Family Curse, and I especially despise it in hot weather when the bedroom is too bright and the living room AC is too loud.

But enough of that.

Apart from the general lying around yesterday, I did manage to sit up for two hours and finish the adjustments on my two linen skirts (tip:  if clothing is so loose on you that you can get in and out of it without unzipping, it’s probably not cute on you anymore–time to get thee to a tailor or deal with it yourself.  Safety pins do not count as “dealing with it yourself.”)  Why undertake such tedious hated tasks while ill?  Because resistance is low–and it’s not like it can make you feel any worse, right?

Hence voila, today’s wearings:

I have seriously missed this skirt in the past two months of suit-like black skirt boredom.  Welcome back!  The top is H and M standard, the necklace a present from the Most Fabulous S, and the shoes from Target.  Aviators courtesy of a cheap store next to the supermarket and my desire to have people confuse me with Little A–we’re always told we look alike and we could probably fool people if we wore the same sunglasses.

In other sewing news (and, if you are either averse to sewing, male, or both, you may wish to look away right about now), I had a fabric store frenzy this weekend!  It was a planned visit, but it turned into a proper frenzy when I saw the always-appreciated “storewide sale” sign up.  25-35% or more off everything?  I’ll take ten, please.

I actually brought home four cuts of gorgeousness with very specific ideas of what I wanted to make with them.  If I buy fabric without an idea in mind for it, I’ll never decide what I want to make, let it sit for a year, and then lose all interest in it.  Charming, I know.

So how do we feel about this beautiful, breezy, purple-checked cotton:

For a dress like this one, from Anthropologie?

And this monstrously huge flower print in a satiny cotton:

Possibly for something like the Anthropologie Rainforest Morning Dress:

Or their Serengeti Sundress?

I also picked up this violet and peach madness, which was a total steal at 10 TT (about US $1.75) a yard.  I think the fact that it borders on tacky makes it VERY cool indeed:

So I can totally see it doing something like this Anthropologie Cooling Magma Dress–a plus being that I have a pattern with a similar bodice and I’d only have to draft something up for the skirt:

Final purchase was a blue flower-patterned and metallic-striped turquoise chiffon:

Which I’m imagining for a floaty blouse like the Anthropologie Tiny Tucks blouse:

Or possibly even something like this (Parachuting Petals by Anthropologie, great name!):

Please note that I don’t have shares in Anthropologie, nor do I actually own anything from said store (and, with the cost of most items, I wouldn’t want to, even if I had the money–I’d be terrified of spilling coffee or ketchup on it).  But I love their designs and I love that they let you download their images, which works well for demonstration purposes for y’all.

Given that I’ve only just started to draft my own stuff and Frankenstein things together (i.e. use two different patterns to make something new), I think I have my work cut out for me.  But once work slows down, I’m up for the challenge.  I  just need to buy a lot more pins–and a good supply of patience.

As for shakings du jour, a gentle swim was had, which did wonders for my tight shoulders and sense of normalcy after yesterday, when the only time my heart beat faster was when watching Dexter.

And food…. I must issue a general apology for general food boringness these days.  Trust me, the food sure doesn’t taste boring, but I’m relying on a lot of standby dishes, leftovers, and make-ahead meals and not pushing the envelope here.  I’ve been a busy girl lately.  Same as with the sewing, though:  you can expect ramped-up production of kitchen concotions of a new and interesting nature in a few weeks, once the commitment schedule calms down a bit.

Lengthy preamble over, the only blog-worthy meal was this–pasta with white beans and tomato sauce:

It’s a real old-time recipe for me–it’s actually the first recipe I ever made when I moved out on my own!  Nine years later, it still tastes great and reminds me of good times in Montreal.  I love it so much that, if you come back tomorrow, you may find it posted in the Chomping Shop (hint hint).

Why is this the only blog-worthy meal, you ask?

  1. Breakfast was banana oatmeal again. Again. Because bananas are faster to cut than apples (and cheaper).
  2. Lunch was a sardine sandwich with a green salad.  If it looks like catfood and tastes like catfood, it’s best left alone (or to the cats).  I love sardines.  I love mustard.  I don’t like it when they morph into catfood.  Bitter catfood.  Never again.

That’s it for today.  No Dexter, no migraine–bedtime.

Swim? Sew? Neither–But a Girl Can Dream

It’s a day of almosts and hypotheticals around here.

My swim today almost happened, but didn’t.  I pranced to the pool, donned the new bathing suit:

And slathered up in sunscreen.  I went to grab my goggles and voila!  They were MIA (or rather, chilling in the drawer I moved them to a few days ago).  Frustration ensued, as did a questioning of the necessity of seeing where I was swimming–it was a yes, so the swim was a no.  Damn.  After working up the courage to show stomach to the two and a half other lunchtime swimmers I see…  Oh well, maybe tomorrow I’ll brave a double workout day, because it’s boiling hot and I’m dying for some pool time.

The sewing hypothetically could have happened, but I have a guilt problem, you see, and it is caused by this:

My clothes-to-be-fixed pile.

You see, I’ve told myself that no new sewing will take place until at least two nip-tuck-needing items are fixed.  And, given that I sew in twos (if not three or fours), it would take just one fitting and pinning to fix two entire items.   But fixing items would involve:

  • bringing out the machine and peripherals, which would mean finding another place to plug in the laptop, which is clearly more than I can handle
  • doing piddly little sewing stuff that I find heinous, which would lead to a bad disposition, which would lead to a decreased appreciation of the Law and Order SVU marathon that gives my TV life meaning each Tuesday night

So for now, I’ll dream of all the lovely things I’d like to be making were I not such a lazy madam about easy mending.

For starters, there would be the beautiful Alexander blouse from Burdastyle:

(Picture taken from the printed-out direction of the pattern, which I bought from Burdastyle.com)

Blouse sketch (from printed-out directions of pattern bought on Burdastyle.com)

With this gorgeous, slightly sheer polka-dot chiffon that I bought a few weeks ago:

Trinidad one-cent coin added for scale

There would also be more T-shirt dresses like my self-drafted tie-neck dress and low-back dresss, with other neckline and sleeve variations, as well as simple skirts like this one (snapped while taking pictures at the Old San Juan pigeon park):

And blouses like this gorgeous one from Colette patterns (picture taken from their awesome website):

This is the kind of blouse my new shorts are crying out for

Or some of the more detailed variations of this McCall’s pattern (of which I’d make all except the plain red version):

All in the big bright prints that I love or the saturated brilliant colors that rock my world, these things would make my closet a much happier place.

So, since neither swimming nor sewing rocked my world today, I depended on my food (and the ever-reliable Detectives Stabler and Benson) to do so, in the form of oatmeal banana pancakes from Sunday, warmed up and topped with kiwi, mango, and a sprinkle of syrup:

A black bean, tomato, lettuce, onion, cucumber salad with home-made mango dressing that hadn’t been made in years (and has been thoroughly missed–how could I forget how good this is?):

And African sweet potato, vegetable and peanut stew, which was made a few weeks ago and left in the freezer for the Husband to eat while I was in Puerto Rico for a rainy day:

And though my outfit was neither exceptionally colorful or well-planned (it was selected because it was clean):

It was a great blankish slate for me to wear the beautiful pin my grandmother gave me when I left Puerto Rico last week:

Which, in and of itself, pretty much made my day.

Which items are you currently coveting for your spring closet?