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Never too early…

It’s never too early to start thinking about your Halloween costume.  Actually for us this is kind of late.  We usually have our costumes planned out months in advance.  In fact, one year we ended Halloween night planning the next year’s costumes. We usually do a theme thing where Sully, Boo and I all dress up together.  We’ve been including my sister and her kids for the last several years.

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For most of the last decade, we’ve been thinking about a Harry Potter Halloween but for various reasons it just never happened.  One of the reasons was that Sully would suggest something else.  I didn’t realize until this year that he was doing that because he didn’t want to go as Gilderoy Lockhart.  That all started when the movie, Chamber of Secrets came out years ago.  Sully did a hilarious impression of Lockhart and my sister suggested that should be his costume.  So years of himming and hawwing later and I find out he’s not that excited about anyone else.  We were actually supposed to have a Harry Potter theme last year but switched at the last minute because I just didn’t have the energy to research, design and sew costumes that were that elaborate.  That year we went as fairies, yep, even Sully.  

Ok, back to this year.  We had promised everyone that this year would definitely be our Harry Potter year.  Unfortunately, neither Sully nor I was all that excited with the theme.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Harry Potter.  I’ve read all of the books at least twice and I’ve loved the movies.  There just aren’t a lot of roles for women, I am too old to be Hermione and too young to be McGonagall.  I suppose I could have designed my own groovy character but I just wasn’t feeling it.  About a week or so ago I came up with the idea that we could open up the theme to all witches and wizards.  Everyone could pick and choose their favorite character and go from there.  I made some calls, sent out some texts and emails and everyone was on board.  

Sully and I are going to be Balthazar and Veronica from the movie The Sorceror’s Apprentice.  Boo is sticking with Harry Potter, her costume is going to be a steampunk version of a Hogwart’s student.  I can’t wait to get sewing.  

 

***Update… the title is kind of funny given that I am just now posting it.  It was another post that didn’t get posted back when it was supposed to.  

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Planning stages…

For the last two weeks, the cushions for the couch have been leaning against a bookcase in the Great Room.  Boo is super excited about decorating for Halloween but the house needs to be straightened up a lot more before that’s going to happen.  The cushions being the biggest issue.  I had been saying I was in the planning stages but no one was going to buy that at this point.  I was stuck and  I admit it, I was procrastinating.  The cushion covers I made before were easy, two square panels and some velcro and I was done.  

 

They looked like these floor pillows.

This time I was dealing with foam that was 4″ thick along with the batting wrapped around it.  We’re talking side panels now.

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My cushions will look like these.  Almost exactly like these, I decided not to do piping around the cushion edges.  I didn’t think it would look all that good with the denim or with the style of our couch.  And honestly, I had no desire to muck around with sewing the piping.  How’s that for a straight answer?

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I found a great tutorial on eHow online that explained how to put the cushion together.  The instruction by Karen Weisman was very helpful.  Check it out here.  I think I am prepared to actually start on the cushions.

Earlier tonight I got my sewing machine out and did some quick mending.  After that I cut out a few of the pieces I will need for the cushions.  I wanted at least one full set so I could  sew it together and make sure it worked.  

Cross your fingers, I’ll check in tomorrow with an update.

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Hanging with Boo…

Today, after we were done with school, Boo and I went shopping.  I had some coupons that expire at the end of the month and decided since Sully was at work it would be a good idea for a fun afternoon.

We started at DSW.  I was looking for shoes that would look good with jeans, cargo pants or dress pants.  Not that I have any dress pants, mind you but I figured I should include them.  I would have like to have found some slip on shoes, like a casual loafer.  Several years ago I had a pair of shoes that laced up, they were brown leather-like material and kind of looked like a men’s shoe but they looked so cute with jeans.  I wanted something like that.  Of course, I found nothing like that.  I found a lot of shoes with big heels, or big clunky slips ons with heels.  Some were cute and I tried on a few of those but nothing really fit and some of them were so clunky that they just looked weird on my feet.

Boo had much better luck than I did and tried on a ton of shoes.  Several of which I took pictures of so we could look for them online later.  We didn’t buy anything in the store but I got some ideas so I could order online and use all of my coupons and codes.  (More on this part later…)

After DSW we stopped at Joanns, we wandered a lot looking for various items on our list, most of which we couldn’t find.  We did come across these nifty things to make headbands.  You can choose any ribbon to put in the clips.

I have a headband similar to this one.  That I got about twelve years ago at Target.  It’s my favorite headband and I wear it at least once every week.  I’ve been talking about making some other headbands like it since it’s so comfortable.  I was excited to see that Simplicity had provided this option.  The package contains two and we got a package with black bands and a package with silver grey bands.  There might be other colors but this is what our Joanns had.  We picked out ribbon but there were technical issues at the cutting counter with the electronic scanner things, so we left without the ribbon.  I am pretty sure we will be at Joann’s again sometime soon.

After that we went to Build A Bear, I had a Stuff for Stuff certificate for $10 and then a Happy Birthday coupon for $5 off.  Boo had wanted the Princess Merida outfit from ‘Brave’.  This is the only pic I have right now.  I will try to snag a pic of the bear dressed up. 

We picked up lunch and went home to eat and watch reruns on TV.  It was great having a day (or half a day) to do just fun stuff and enjoy being with Boo.  She is super funny and we laughed a lot.  It was a good day, indeed.

Later that night…

I went on to DSW’s website and ordered some shoes.

This is the Kelly & Katie Janell Wedge, I tried it on at DSW.  They were comfortable and I think they will look good with jeans and my cargo pants.  

I got free shipping if I spent a little more and found these cute shoes.  I got them in black since I had already gotten the other shoes in brown.

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Jack’s back…

Ok, it’s time to decorate the bathroom for fall.  Last year was the first time we decorated for the fall and when I first suggested it Sully was a bit skeptical.  I talked him into it by coming up with a theme he would like, Jack Skellington.  Sully loves Nightmare Before Christmas and I was pretty sure we had plenty of items to help pull the room together.  We did have quite a bit of things and then I spent about twenty dollars to finish the room.

Here are some pictures from last year along with some additions that I added when I decorated yesterday.  Enjoy!

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I ordered this poster off of Amazon for $2, and we got the frame at Michael’s for less than $5 (with a coupon, of course!).

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Sully got this snowglobe for his birthday last year.

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I ordered the Jack Skellington patches off of Amazon.  I think together they were less than $5.  We already had the towels in the linen closet.

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I bought the black dress netting at JoAnns (with another coupon), I think it was two yards.  It was so inexpensive I don’t remember the price.  I had a couple of yards of black lining material that I draped across with the black netting hanging over.  The frame on the upper left holds a reusable shopping bag from The Disney Store.   The black wreath was 40% off at Michael’s.  

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This is a new addition this year.  We bought the hat at Disneyland in July.  It even took a trip down Splash Mountain.

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These mugs are new too.  Sully and I got those last Christmas.  I painted the miniature chest last year, another great find at Michael’s.

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I made the curtains (that hide the closet from view) from broadcloth purchased at JoAnns.   We brought Zero back from our trip to Disneyland last October.

 

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Happy day…

Last night we went to Sully’s mom for our birthday party.  Both of our birthdays are next week, first is Sully’s and then mine the next day.

My sister, Lily, planned the party with Sully’s mom which had an Avengers theme.  Here is a picture of the table.

I wish we had gotten a picture of it during dinner.  We had lasagna, meatballs, sausage and peppers, garlic bread, salad and black olives.  Sully’s mom makes incredible Italian food.  Her father actually came from Italy after WWII and her mother was a second generation Italian.  So when I say her food is amazing, it is actually so much better than that.  

Lily brought this awesome cake.  She has a friend that makes cakes, Lily designed it and the friend put it together.  Sully was quite impressed and said that the cake was pretty tasty.  I am not much of a cake eater, yeah, I know I am weird.  I had a small piece and it wasn’t bad.

We had a fun night and I was glad everyone could be there.  

 

Ok, so my plan to balance everything started  yesterday… 

House  –  …and garage  – 20 min* (yesterday and today) 

School  –  Prepped for next week.

Writing  –  Do blog posts count?  

Fitness  –  stretched (yesterday), stepladder (today)

Me  –  reading (yesterday), watched football (today)

* 20 minutes per job each day.

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Happy Mabon…

Today is the first day of Autumn.  The day and night are in balance and it is the time for us all to find look for balance as we head for cooler weather and winter.  I am a Libra and I am always looking for balance in my life.  

I’ve always loved the Fall, even though Arizona doesn’t show the fall colors.  A good part of my affection for the Fall is the dropping temperatures although there are many reasons to love this time of the year.  It’s a time of new beginnings, a new school year, the football season starts and of course, for Sully and I, our birthdays*.  In our house the holiday season starts with our birthdays, then Boo’s birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, it ends up being a quick slide right into Christmas and New Year’s.  

I’ve spent most of the year searching for balance, and given how the year has gone I think I have done a fairly good job.  There’s been a lot of unexpected events and I’ve done my best to work through them, around them and with them.  I think I am just about to the place where I am going to get things turned around for the better.

In July, I did my 21 Day Challenge, I drank more water, exercised everyday and got into a routine of strength training.  I felt better and I lost 5 pounds.  We went on vacation and I kept planning on jumping back into another 21 day challenge.  For several reasons, it never happened.  It was a tough summer for my allergies and of course, the Arizona heat doesn’t really allow for a lot of exercise.  I did get some other stuff figured out with my daily schedule and I think that will help with things once I get on the right track with my fitness.

We have 21 days until our next vacation, so I am going to do another 21 day program.  Since it’s all about balance I am going to work on the key areas that I try to balance daily; house, school, writing, fitness and me.

Tomorrow, I will write more about my plan.  Today, just enjoy the first day of Autumn.

On this day of equal light and darkness, may you find the balance you need in your life, may you be blessed with abundance of many kinds, and may you be surrounded by the people who love you.

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Blessings to you and yours, Happy Mabon!

 
 

*I found out that Sully’s birthday was the day before mine on the night that led to him asking me out for the first time.

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Addicted to Velcro…

I’ve always liked Velcro.  When I was a kid I loved that ripping sound it makes when you pull the two pieces apart.  It was great on bags, wallets and I remember being terribly excited that there was Velcro on my Trapper Keeper.

Now that I am older, I have found myself once again loving the Velcro.  I use it all over the house.

We use these Velcro straps to wrap up cords around the house.  It’s great for the powercords for the camera, GPS and other things that aren’t charged every week.  It keeps everything together and saves a lot of room in the drawer or container.  We also use them to bundle up the excess length of cord on stuff like the computer, where there are multiple cords in the same area.  It alleviates all of the tangling and neatens it all up.

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I use Velcro dots for sewing and around the house.  You can find them in various colors, sizes and shapes.  I used one in my iPad case to keep the flap tight so that my iPad doesn’t slide around.  I added a detachable pocket to a bag using these larger oval dots.

 

 

 

I use nametag sleeves to hold labels on containers, that way I can just pull the label out and put a new one in, or move the label to another box.  The industrial strength Velcro is perfect for attaching the sleeves to the containers.  This Velcro is made to withstand heavy weights but I use itbecause it also does really well in the heat.

 

 

 

I use nametag sleeves to hold labels on containers, that way I can just pull the label out and put a new one in, or move the label to another box.  The industrial strength Velcro is perfect for attaching the sleeves to the containers.  This Velcro is made to withstand heavy weights but I use it because it also does really well in the heat.  In Arizona, our garage gets super hot, the adhesive on normal Velcro just melts and I find my labels on the floor.  I’ve never had a problem with the industrial strength Velcro.

 

 

 

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Here is my latest favorite thing.  These picture hanging strips are great.  I’ve used these so much in the past few months.  I hung a whole wall of picture frames last month, ranging from 3×5″ to 24 x 36″. Then I used them to attach my USB hub, USB router and surge protector on the wall so that I have more desk space.  I haven’t had any issues with them at all.  The packages have a guide on the back indicating which strips and how many to use on the different frame sizes.

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I’ve used them to hang a calendar, two dry erase boards, my earring holder and probably ten other things that are not coming to mind right now.