Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to Make a No Sew Jingle Bell TuTu

Remember when I made a pink tutu to run in for the Flamingo 5K (a women's health event)?  You don't?  Why do you never remember these things?  Maybe this will refresh your memory.

I've been thinking about a jingle bell tutu for Ella ever since then and since tomorrow is December first I got myself (and Bianca) to work on said tutu and y'all get to come along for the tutorial.   I'm picturing you wearing yours in your next Jingle Bell run!

How To Make a No Sew Jingle Bell Tutu

What you will need:

  • 2 to 3 yards satin ribbon (or ribbon of your choice) (I used 2 yards for a child's size and 3 yards for adult size)
  • 2 spools of tulle in colors of your choice (I used red and green)
  • Jingle bells
  • Scissors 
  • Yard stick

Tie your ribbon in knots to mark the beginning and end (your waist size) leaving even tails on each end.

Measure out a 24 inch piece of tulle (or longer for adult size depending on the length you want) and cut.  Repeat cutting about 20 pieces of each color.

Gather your tulle "strip" and fold in half making a loop at the top.  

Put the loop behind the satin ribbon like so (sorry I'm changing colors on you.  Don't be confused I just didn't get good pics of the red and thought it was easier to see with the pink).

No grab the ends and insert them through the middle of the loop and pull tight to secure.  

I made a pattern using 2 red and then 2 green, but you can do it anyway you want.  To add the jingle bells, I twisted the end of every fourth strand (I thought doing them at the end of each would be too much and too loud, again it's your call) and threaded the bell through and tied it off.  

The end result is adorable, or maybe it's the girls that are adorable making the tutu look darn good.

Congrats to Bianca on making her first EVER craft!  I knew she could do it!  Hallelujah!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One Hundred Pushups or Bust

How does one know if one is in shape?  It's a conundrum really.  I workout typically 5 days a week and I really don't think I half ass it most days, but am I really in shape?  I mean I did just run a marathon.

Truth be told, I typically think I'm in decent shape, but then something comes a long to remind me there is a LOT of room for improvement.  During Body Pump yesterday I was so discouraged when I could only do five pushups.  FIVE!  Back in the heyday (and by heyday I mean pre-broken shoulder) my highest number of pushups completed in a row was 13.  So there I was in Body Pump (at the END of the class mind you) and I was only able to squeak out five measly pushups (REAL ones not girlie).  I vowed then and there to do something about it.

Enter-- The One Hundred Push Ups Challenge.

The one hundred pushups training program is a six week program designed to help participants be able to complete 100 push ups in a row.  Um yeah, that might wind up being a 52 week training program for me, but I am bound and determined to stick with this program and really try to increase my shoulder strength (particularly my "broken" shoulder).  The program only takes about 30 minutes a week.  10 minutes three times a week.   Anyone can do that right?  I can!

And so the "initial test" began.  How many good-form pushups could I do in a row before collapsing in a heap on the floor?




While taking the action shots George decided he wanted to get in on the actual action, and so too he did the initial test.  

Let's just say, I'm pissed!  I work out 5 days a week and he... well let's just say he doesn't and he drops and gives me...

 Just FYI he had just given Jack a bath, that's why he's all wet

Yes you are seeing that correctly, 50!!!  I'm sure he could have even done more, but he didn't want to hurt my feelings.  Whatever.  

Before I reveal my initial number, I would like to say I should get credit for good form.  Even George (who is always super critical of my form-- running form, squatting form, etc) said I was doing them correctly.  Need to see it again (because this is the ONLY good part)? 

Ok, with out further ado enough bullshit let's see the number.  

Just to be clear that is an eleven and not two.  Even still, ELEVEN?  What the hell?

The App (for iPhone) has been downloaded (there is an android app too), the plans are being put in motion, and operation 100 Pushup Training Program begins tomorrow.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday-- Me, YOU, and that other guy.  Pushup Challenge!  Go!

Who wants to join me?  How many pushups can you do in a row?  Wanna do more? 

Find out all about the program by clicking here.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gingerbread Perfection

Do you know how to give a mother a heart attack?  Ok, not just any mother, but ME?  You make not one, not two, but THREE gingerbread houses.  You also relinquish all control letting each child do WHATEVER they want.

It's very hard for a type A person (I'm looking at ME) to let go of all control and just let the kids have fun.  Sure I'd love to have a perfect Gingerbread house on display, but letting the kids do what they want means so much to them, and of course, to me.

Ella was the first to start her house and she was very careful with a definite plan.

Jack loved spreading on his "snow" and enjoyed a lot of tasting.

Nicholas started out strong with some great ideas and got right to it.

After a LOT of icing...

... and a whole lot of mess

some of the candy decorations actually made it on to the houses.

And by some, I mean A LOT.  All in one place.

While Ella was the first to start, she wasn't the first to finish.  She said she liked taking her time and getting things just right.  Hmmm a little Type A perhaps??? 

Nicholas, however, tired of the project a lot earlier than I thought he would, but was still pleased with his creation.

Jack had enough icing on his for 100 houses and about that much in his belly too.

Finally, Ella finished and as you can see, she was ecstatic about her creation.

These gingerbread houses may not be the prettiest, but they're a reflection of each child's personality.  Each one is perfection... to me, Type A and all.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sweet 16

I didn't go shopping today, didn't spray another shopper with pepper spray to get a black Friday deal, heck I didn't even shop online (yet).  I did, however, go to Walmart to pick up a prescription for my baby boy who has Strep.  I took him to one of those immediate care clinics and from the time I left my house until the time I got home, it took THREE hours.  Hardly a minute.  Regardless, he's now medicated and hopefully on the mend.

The rest of the day (well 4 hours anyway) was spent making a cake for Bianca's daughter, Tracy.  She's turning 16 on Sunday and I had the honor of making her cake.  Now mind you, this is only the fourth cake I've ever made and only my second time using fondant icing so it's NOT perfect, but I am happy.  I hope Tracy is happy too.

The only thing Tracy requested is that the cake be blue.  I chose my favorite shade of blue (you can see my inspiration).

My fondant isn't smooth and perfect, but I was satisfied with my two tier cake (a first time for that).  It's not as crooked as it appears in this picture either.  I promise!

Bianca asked for polka dots so I added those and also the white "balls" to hide all my imperfections add a little more decoration.

Finally, I added the bow (my least favorite part) and called it a day cake.

Happy 16th birthday Tracy, may they all be as sweet!