Happy 34th birthday to me! Now that 34 sounds even older than 33 (it’s almost into the next age bracket of 35-55 on surveys!), I’ll get to enjoy even more conversations like this one at the fabric store cutting counter last week:

Me: 1 yard of these two, and half a yard of the batiks, please.
50-something Clerk: Ok. What are you working on?
Me: A project with my quilt guild.
Clerk: [pause] So you’re learning to quilt, huh?
Me: Well, not really, I’ve been doing it about 8 years. I do consider myself a beginner, though, definitely not an expert or anything.
Clerk: You must have been really small when you started then!
Me: I was in my mid-twenties.
Clerk: Oh! I thought you were still in your teens!

My new response when somebody tells me that I look 15, or they thought I was 23, or there’s no way I’m 34 haha stop lying now tell us your real age for real this time, is going to be silence. Nothing. I’m not agreeing with them (“Haha I know”) or apologizing (“Yeah, I’m sorry, everybody says that”) or pretending like they’re the first person to say it (“what?? that’s weird, everybody always thinks I’m older than my age”) or responding as though it’s a compliment, which can go on awhile (“thank you, that’s so kind of you to say!” “You really do though!” “How nice, thank you!” “No, I’m not trying to be nice, I really thought you were in college” “Aw, thank you, I’m flattered!” “I’m not trying to flatter you, I’m just saying the truth, you look really young” “You’re too sweet, thank you!”).

Instead, it will be nothing.
“Oh my god no way I thought you were 20!”

Happy birthday to me!

What I Wore to Work Today: Friday, October 23, 2015
Blouse: Ann Taylor
Camisole: Target
Pants: Banana Republic
Shoes: Payless, new

2015_10_23 hand in hair 2015_10_23-001  2015_10_23 hands up

November 2, 2015. Tags: , , , , . Pictures, What I Wore to Work Today, Words. 2 comments.

Banoffee pie with raspberries

banoffee pie slice

I recently learned that I can make dulce de leche by boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk for two hours and my life was forever changed. I ate a lot of dulce de leche during my semester in Uruguay (after gaining 10 pounds I was told “Now you look like an American!”) and ever since then I’ve wanted to recreate some of the fancy cakes that had many layers including cake, crispy meringue, dulce de leche, whipped buttercream, berries or chocolate, and by now a lot of nostalgia that will make the dessert extra delicious. Extra delicious, or disappointing because it’s not how I remembered it. As they say, you can’t go home again or eat a perfect slice of cake again from the Disco supermarket bakery down the street from your student housing in Montevideo.

I first saw this magic technique on ktmade’s banoffee pie post and I said out loud at my desk to nobody in particular “wait, really? That’s so cool!”

My pot was only deep enough to cover the can by three quarters of an inch so I set an alarm to go off every ten minutes to remind me to check the water level, adding more as necessary. I wouldn’t want this explosion to happen to me. I simmered the can for 2.5 hours and it turned out excellent. I ate some with a spoon throughout the next day and turned most of the rest into a banoffee pie.

Premade graham cracker crust baked for 5 minutes at 350, most of the dulce de leche, two bananas, a package of fresh raspberries, and quite a bit of Albertsons store-brand whipped topping, that completely processed confection made from hydrogenated soybean oil, corn syrup, and 1960s American dreams.

banoffee pie banana layer  banoffee pie raspberry layer

banoffee pie finished

October 26, 2015. Tags: , . Links, Pictures, Recipes, Words. 1 comment.

Front yard mulch: Before and after

Front bed before and after

I decided to add mulch to the old not-actually-flower beds in front of my house that were now mostly dirt, old bark, weeds, and a sprinkling of cat poop. I walked into the closest big box store nursery section and asked the stocker to point me to the mulch section.

“It’s back in that corner. Or I have a few bags up here on clearance for a dollar-fifty,” he said.

“Sold!” I replied. There were three bags of red mulch sitting on a cart, exactly the number I needed in a red color that was just fine, marked down because of holes in the bag. A few minutes later and my house looked much nicer.

front side bed before and after

front house after

October 23, 2015. Tags: , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. 2 comments.

Doggie dinner station: Before & After

doggie dinner station before doggie dinner station after

My dog is a sloppy drinker. She splashes water and doesn’t have the excuse of prodigious jowls or floofy ears getting in the way or youthful enthusiasm that cannot be restrained. She’s just messy.

More than a year after getting the little weasel I finally made a doggie dinner station placement using a piece of this home dec fabric roll I got at Goodwill. I also moved it to a dedicated spot in the dining room so it’s not directly next to the garbage and recycle anymore. Same floor, just different lighting for a different appearance.

Doggie Dinner is the magic phrase and soon she’ll probably learn “supper” too, which is what I say when I want to talk about dinner without drawing her attention.

blue and white goodwill home dec fabric

October 22, 2015. Tags: , , . Dog, Pictures, Projects, Words. 1 comment.

1966 vs. 2015: Party Dress

Mom's bright blue and white dress 1966 - single picture

When I was a small child I would play dress-up with my mom’s vintage fancy dresses, swallowed by what seemed like yards of material. Sometime around middle school I stopped playing dress-up in the same way. Years went by and one day I opened the box of old, creased dresses to find that instead of them being much too big I suddenly couldn’t even fit into some of them.

In my mid-twenties my mom shipped half a dozen boxes to me, stuff that had been left behind when I moved out after college. She felt confident that I wasn’t returning to the nest and instead of tossing my boxes into the garbage she sent them to me halfway across the country, which was generous.(Thanks Mom!) One of the boxes was full of her old dresses, now mine.

I moved into a house this summer after 5+ years in an apartment. While packing the dresses for the move I eyeballed one, estimated that I might have a chance at zipping it up, and tried it on. Success! Somewhat constricted breathing in the very tight bodice, still success?

I wore it to a Hummingbird Society gala in Sedona, AZ when I knew it would be for just a couple hours. My mom designed and sewed this dress herself when she was in college in 1966.

Sedona, AZMom's bright blue and white dress 1966 - two pictures

mom dress blue and cream

October 4, 2015. Tags: , , . Pictures, Words. 1 comment.

Office Temps: Team Cold

2015_07_02 jacket

What I Wore to Work Today: July 2, 2015
Jacket and blouse: Xi Clothing, new
Skirt: Ann Taylor
Shoes: Payless

I keep this blazer at work as an option when I get a little chilly. I love when it’s cold — too cold is so much better than too hot! This issue picked up steam (ha!) over the summer when various thinkpieces garnered attention (Washington Post, New York Times). I’m firmly in the Let’s Make It Cold camp. If I were too cold, I’d have only myself to blame with these skirts and bare legs and sleeveless tops.

September 16, 2015. Tags: , , , . Pictures, What I Wore to Work Today, Words. Leave a comment.

Spring quilt retreat: Farmer’s Daughter block

Lucy's baby 2014_11

This is the 2nd top I made at the spring 2014 quilt retreat. The block is Farmer’s Daughter, which is similar to Butterfly at the Crossroads. As usual, I learned this traditional block from The Quilter’s Recipe Book by Celia Eddy.

Lucy's baby 2014_11 closeupLucy's baby 2014_11 back

September 15, 2015. Tags: , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. Leave a comment.

Now it’s July!


What I Wore to Work Today: July 1, 2015
Blazer: Ann Taylor, new
Dress: Macy’s?
Belt: Target
Shoes: Payless

Hey look I was still wearing clothes to work in July! This was back before I started wearing basically the same thing to work every day when I had a lot going on at the office and travel every weekend and moving preparations and assorted things that drained my interest in thinking about my daily clothes.

This blazer was new around this time. It’s a textured navy blue material and worth the expense so far.
2015_07_01 hands on hips

September 14, 2015. Tags: , , , , . Pictures, What I Wore to Work Today, Words. Leave a comment.

What I Wore to Work in June


What I Wore to Work Today: June 29, 2015
Top, skirt: Ann Taylor
Belt: Target
Shoes: Payless

Look at those beautiful green basil plants, early in the summer before they died. Those were the days.


September 13, 2015. Tags: , , , , . Pictures, What I Wore to Work Today, Words. Leave a comment.

Mystery baby quilt: red, pink, and orange

unknown recipient 2013_11 (3)

I came across these quilt pictures while updating my photo folders. I don’t remember anything about this quilt and I hadn’t renamed the pictures yet to provide clues. Maybe it was for a friend in Minnesota, baby #3? The pictures were taken November 2013, does this theory work with that timeline? Have I made quilts for all of their children? If that’s the case I better get cracking on the quilt for baby #4 due this fall.

unknown recipient 2013_11 (4) unknown recipient 2013_11

September 11, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. Leave a comment.

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