Monday, June 4, 2018

Getting Olivia prepped for Kindergarten (or the Hair-in-the-Eyes Saga)

My big girl is starting Kindergarten in August (I was gonna say the fall, but that is right in the middle of summer) and I've been reading up on how to be sure she is ready for school. Most things are about how they need to be able to recognize their letters, put on jackets by themselves, being able to listen, and playing well with others. I feel like she is very ready for kindergarten, except in one way.

Her solution for breakfast hair
She dressed herself in all Purple
Hairbow and still in her eyes

Her hair! It is constantly in her eyes and she doesn't mind it at all. Sometimes I find her coloring, and I'm not sure how she can even see what she is doing. We have tried hairbows, headbands, ponytails and her favorite, tiaras. I instated a rule that her hair has to always be out of her eyes, especially while eating, but she doesn't seem to mind it at all! 



Her beautiful soft hair is gorgeous, but I am so lost on how to style it for when she goes to school so that it will:
A. stay out of her eyes all day so that she can see and learn
B. will stay put all day as she is so active
C. is something she can easily fix if it does fall out so someone else doesn't need to fix it for her
Ladies out there, what can I do? Please help, I've got two of these little straight-haired girls and I'm lost! I'm trying to avoid bangs because I'm sure they would grow out and once again be in her eyes.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Fresh Blackberry Muffins (from our garden!)

This spring we have been enjoying the fruits of our berry planting from last year. We decided we wanted some plants along the side of our driveway between our neighbors and I thought that berries would be the perfect solution, even though they are deciduous (not super good cover in the winter). We planted 6 raspberry plants and 5 blackberry plants!

Last year we were lucky enough to get two rounds of raspberries, but the blackberries never flowered.


Not so, this year, we have so many blackberries! For a while, they weren't turning black quicker than my girls could pick and eat them. We go and pick berries generally every other day because that gives the plants long enough to make fully ripe berries.

But this morning after letting the blackberries go two days, we had more than a cup of blackberries! Enough to make blackberry muffins!!






Here is the recipe I adapted from Simply Recipes. I always love how blogs say adapted, but in my case it was definitely adapted because I had to use greek yogurt instead of sour cream because I don't have any in the house :)

Blackberry Muffins (makes 8)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon milk
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 4 Tbsp warm melted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of fresh blackberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Combine dry ingredients except sugar.
  3. Mix together wet ingredients and sugar.
  4. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Slice the berries in half and then add them to the mix!
  5. Spray the muffin pans and then add batter. Cook for 15-20 minutes. 
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Blonde Ambition - The Search for a Dolores Wig

Hey everyone - it's Christina (Rebecca's college BFF who now lives in DC).  I am working on some cosplays for upcoming cons near me and Rebecca was gracious enough to let me use her blog to share some behind-the-scenes of my prep.

A little about my cosplay style -
  • Have always loved dressing up but just starting cosplaying for cons this year
  • Goal is to have fun and make something I feel happy in
  • Not going for screen realism
  • Want to be recognizable
  • Want to minimize sewing
  • Love finding items at the thrift store and converting them into a costume
  • Willing to buy the items that are really hard to make or I can't find the right thing

I recently discovered Westworld on HBO and am *mildy* obsessed now.  I binged all 10 episodes of Season 1 in April while I was on fun-employment, and HBO is airing Season 2 now. If you also watch, I highly recommend this podcast to help unravel what is happening and the crazy timelines.

One of the main characters is Dolores, an android host in a western themed 'vacation on steroids'. (Don't worry - no spoilers in the description that follows) In Season 1, she is a sweet but confused character.  In Season 2 she has much more grit and determination, as evidenced when she makes her first appearance with her jacket removed and sporting a bad-ass bandolier.  When I saw that on screen I knew I wanted to make this costume.

      Image result for season 1 dolores westworld
Season 1 Dolores           
Season 2 Dolores

This costume seemed relatively easy as I would only need:
  1. White chemise with blue ribbon trim
  2. Blue skirt
  3. Brown boots
  4. Brown leather belt
  5. Brown leather hip satchel
  6. Bad-ass bandolier
  7. Blonde hair
I felt SUPER confident about this costume as I already owned/had made items 1-4.  The blonde hair is the real kicker for me as I am a dark brunette and dying my hair honey blonde was not a viable option.  Therefore a wig would definitely be required.

I know nothing about wigs, so I watched some tutorials and asked around on my cosplay Instagram handle to get recommendations. Wanting to get the look, without a large investment, I ordered two blonde wigs from Amazon with good reviews that were ~$35 each.

Wig 1 was very well made, easy to wear, and the tresses were the *perfect* color, but the roots were just too dark for the look I needed.  In Season 1, her roots are a bit darker than Season 2, but this was still too much.

      Zenith Dark Brown Rooted Light Blonde Lace Front Wigs for Women Best Synthetic Hair Wavy Wig with Flawless Hairline 24 inches Heat Safe      
             
Note - ignore the lace on my forehead in all these pics - that gets trimmed shorter and then glued down to hold the wig in place

Wig 2 was also well made and easy to wear, and had no problems with the roots, but the tresses were a bit too pale for the look - wrong shade of blonde. Of note, this wig came in its own silky bag and not only included wig caps (standard for most wig orders) but also included 2 freebies - false eyelashes and a wig comb.

     Fashion Lace Wig With Platinum Blonde Wavy for Women Dark Brown Root Ash Blonde Ombre Lace Wigs with 2 Tone Color       
                                 
Back to the square one, I took the advice of some fellow cosplayers and checked out the sale happening at Pose Wigs. I narrowed it down to two options, one of which was on sale for $40 instead of the $80 full price one I thought was slightly better, so I took a chance on the sale wig. Although high quality and reliable, the downside of Pose Wigs is that unlike Amazon there are no returns (for hygiene reasons), therefore I have to make what I order work for me (this costume or something else in the future).

 
                                        
I am thrilled that it turned out to be perfect!! It looks a little strawberry in this photo, but is a good shade of dirty/honey blonde. The length is to my elbows, rather than to my waist like the first two wigs, but its actually more manageable so I like it better. Will get some wig glue and will do a full hair and makeup test this weekend to make sure I have everything ready by the con on the 15th.

If you need a wig for anything, Pose Wigs has a sample sale going on where samples are 50% off.  Use code "cherrycos10" for 10% off any order. Shipping was fast.

More posts to follow soon on making the bad-ass bandolier and pulling it all together.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

5 Things that cost more to Work from Home (and 5 that cost less)

Day 1 attire, my favorite Jurassic Park
Shirt and Ellie Sattler's earrings
Today is the first day of my fully remote job and it is new and exciting! I'm going to try my best to not spend everyday in pajamas, but it is the first day and I have the best of intentions so we'll see :)

And while working from home has so many advantages, there are some things that I will be spending more money on.

1. Coffee 
I drank the coffee at work that everyone else complained about, but really I just like a little coffee in my milk :) I still need my coffee fix, so I'll spend more on that. 
2. Toilet Paper 
Because I'm home more... 
3. Dishwasher detergent 
Because I'll be eating lunch and breakfast here. I usually had a breakfast bar when travelling to work, and I was eating out way more frequently than brown bagging it, so didn't have dishes to wash. 
4. Air Conditioning 
Since I'll be at home during the hottest part of the day when I normally leave the house temperature higher, we'll be running the AC earlier. 
5. Craft Supplies 
Now that I'm working entirely from home, my girls will be with me more frequently and will need more distractions while I do my work. We have already done a DollarTree run and filled our Amazon shopping cart with supplies to keep them occupied.


But there are some things I'm likely to save money on:


1. Lunch Out 
I was eating out almost every lunch that I was going into the office (only twice a week but still) and it was glorious! My co-workers pick out some amazing restaurants and led me to try new things (Pho, Korean BBQ, Jamaican, Indian, Laotian) and I will definitely miss it. Maybe I can sneak out sometimes and catch a meal with them :) 
2. Gas 
Not only did I have the commute to work, but I also was dropping off my girls with the grandparents (which my girls adore) which extended my drive. 
3. Clothes 
Not that I was spending much on that to begin with, but since I can wear more casual clothes, I won't need to spend as much 
4. Disposable Diapers 
Ok, how does working from home save money on diapers? We use cloth diapers at home and are in the process of getting Juliet potty trained because I'm home to train her!
5. Takeout 
When I had to go in to work, there were days when I came home with the best intentions to cook, but ended up too tired. Hopefully now I can do more prep and be able to cook more dinners from home!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Rocket Shoes for Ms. Frizzle

DragonCon Countdown: 7 days!! Only a week away!!

For my original Ms. Frizzle Outfit, I purchased some cheap shoes from Goodwill to attach rockets to, which was a terrible idea. Cheap shoes for multiple hours at DragonCon meant I quickly acquired blisters and had to find bandaids which only slightly helped. This year, I decided to wear my heels that I've been practicing wearing all August and somehow attach the rockets without damaging the shoes.

My amazing co-worker Liz suggested I use some kind of clip to attach them to my shoes and I knew that Olivia's rubber covered hair clips would be perfect!


I quickly made some rockets out of construction paper and super glue, and can quickly clip them to my shoes!! 


I'm pretty sure at this point that the Ms. Frizzle costume is all ready for wearing next Friday at DragonCon! The schedule came out already on the app to all my fellow attendees, can't wait to see everyone there! Even if you aren't going to the Convention, consider going to the Parade Saturday morning at 10am, Olivia loved it last year! 


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Light Blue Clever Girl Shirt

DragonCon Countdown: 10 days!!

With this shirt I have used up the last of my fat quarters from Spoonflower and my favorite "Clever Girl" fabric. I had a hard time figuring out how to add this to a shirt, but I think it turned out very well!! The clever girl fabric is a silky faille and the navy blue is a stretchy thick Polyester. 


I was initially afraid that the faille would not be stretchy enough for the top and that I would have a hard time getting it over my head, but the navy stretches in all the right places and works together with it perfectly.



Final outfit for DragonCon during the day done and another classy shirt for work!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Dying my hair red

DragonCon Countdown: 11 days!!

So for DragonCon 2014, I came up with the idea of being Ms. Frizzle because of my frizzy hair, but had never dyed my hair before. I figured with my DIY mentality, I could dye it myself with box hair color, so I did.

These are some of the colors I've tried.

Very red! Using the Feria Deep Copper

Mellowed Copper

Some dark red color



Olia Light Auburn
             

 
Blonde, not a good luck especially cuz I didn't let it go long enough.

  
Loreal Light Amber Brown





















I think this time for DragonCon I'm going to go with something a bit warmer than the Light Amber Brown (my current go to color) but not as insane red as the Feria.

Nice N Easy Born Red 6R
Hair before coloring
During, it always looks crazy red during



A bit darker than usual, but it's red!! So ready for DragonCon!!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Olivia's Junior Jackets Dress

DragonCon Countdown: 14 days! 2 weeks!!!

For Olivia's birthday this year, my wonderful brother bought her Junior Jackets Club Membership. It means she gets a special shirt, a personalized badge, a Birthday Card from Buzz, some swag, and a free ticket to a Football game. 

When the package arrived with the shirt, Olivia was underwhelmed. As my observant 4-year-old pointed out about the shirt, "There are no Jackets on it". It does have a GT on the back, but without a Yellow Jacket, she just didn't think it was for Georgia Tech. It is also a Youth small, which means it comes down to below her knees.


Since it was long enough to be a dress on her, I decided to alter it to be a dress. I could have easily done a pillowcase style dress, but wanted to add some "Yellow Jackets" and found the perfect fabric for it. I made a raglan style sleeve (what a surprise :) and attached it, leaving the original neckline. I then added some elastic on the back of the dress until it almost reached the Junior Jackets on the front. 

I'm excited for her to wear it this season to a couple football games! Go Jackets!