Sunday, July 7, 2019

rhode island and lake george

I checked another 2 states off my list!

In mid-June, we flew out to Providence, Rhode Island (my 34th state) to visit some of Dan’s college friends. We stayed with CJ and Catherine, and Mae was very excited to see Abby again! We only had one full day there, and we made the most of the perfect weather. Saturday morning, our group took a chartered boat tour of the bay and the canal that runs through the city.

After a pizza lunch and nap time for the kids, CJ and Catherine hosted a big backyard party for everyone, complete with a giant T-Rex sprinkler. The kids had fun running around in swim suits, while the adults stayed up late reminiscing and drinking (while displaying an impressive array of shorts colors).

Sunday morning, we went to church and then met everyone for breakfast downtown. Although the weather was a bit drearier, we enjoyed a tasty meal on the cute outdoor patio at Olga’s Cup & Saucer. Afterwards, we packed up our stuff and hit the road for Lake George (passing through Massachusetts, my 35th state, on our way).

I was fully prepared a cool rainy week at the lake, but we were pleasantly surprised by gorgeous, sunny weather on Monday and Tuesday. We spent lots of time digging and building in the sand, "fishing" with sticks, and tootling around on the paddleboard. The lake water was chilly (which didn't slow down Mae in the least), but the (heated) pool was nice and toasty. Mae had me chasing diving rings all over the pool and had fun splashing around in her puddle jumper.

Grampa took us on a short, speedy boat ride. I just love the feeling of being out on a boat on the lake! Mae loved going fast and watching the waves as much as always, although she is learning that wind and longer hair don't mix!

Wednesday and Thursday were rainier. The power went out Wednesday, so we drove into town for our essential trip to the arcade. We identified the cause of the power outage as soon as we got to the main road and found a large tree down, blocking our route. After a (somewhat) brief detour, we made it to the arcade and wrapped up the afternoon with a visit to Nina's Sweet Shoppe for ice cream and fudge.

We also filled a rainy morning with some good old puddle stomping. We found some very stomp-able puddles, and everyone ended up soaked. I think Archie had the most fun of anyone!

On Thursday, we had a big party to celebrate Gramma and Grampa's 70th wedding anniversary, plus multiple birthdays and an adoption! It was a fun end to a great little vacation!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

bring on the threes

We hosted a family birthday party for Mae over Memorial Day weekend. GranE, Batman, and Aunt Colleen visited all weekend, and my family came in town for the party on Sunday.

We had beautiful weather all weekend (except during the party) so we spent a lot of time outside. On Saturday we went downtown for a food festival, where Mae devoured a slice of pizza, while the rest of us chose more slightly adventurous cuisine (Cambodian for me, yum). Aunt Colleen snapped this photo of Mae playing on the slide in the backyard, and unintentionally recreated one of my favorite photos from Mae's second birthday party! Our little baby has grown into a big kid!

Even though the weather didn't hold out for the whole party, we kept ourselves entertained by coloring a big birthday sign for Mae on the floor. Washable markers for the win! (I think the adults colored even more than the kids.)

We ate cupcakes off the plates Mae chose: a combination of Disney princesses and Super Mario Bros (a.k.a. "Jumpy Guy"). Mae enjoyed her cupcake... and by that I mean, she licked all the frosting off and then handed the naked cupcake back to me, asking for "more cupcake."

She then opened her presents. I think the biggest hits have been the MagnaTiles from Grandma and Grandpa and the Octonauts shirt and toys from GranE and Batman. We've also had fun kicking her new soccer ball, playing with the vet kit, ringing up purchases at the cash register, and bubble mowing the whole driveway.

Mae and Ollie had fun transporting the Octonauts toys outside in their shirt "pockets" after the rain cleared up. Fortunately, we didn't happen to recreate last year's photo of two-year-old Mae and Ollie rolling baby Archie from their laps into the grass face first... but we were pretty close.

Thanks for helping us celebrate our little three-year-old!

Monday, June 3, 2019

i don't know, margo

Did you spot this skirt in my Easter photos?? I finished this outfit at the beginning of April. I'd planned to wear it for Easter but realized I didn't have anything to wear for a wedding a couple weeks before. I was hemming just a few hours before the wedding!

The fabric is an Art Gallery Fabrics rayon called Floret Sunkissed from the Blush collection. Instead of sewing a dress, I decided to make matching separates, because I figured I'd get more wear from something I can wear as a dress, a skirt, or a top!

The skirt is the Margo Skirt by Style Arc Patterns. I bought the PDF online and ordered the large format printout from, which was much less expensive than the last pattern I had printed at FedEx. This was my first Style Arc pattern, and I'm glad I had a bit of sewing experience under my belt before attempting it. The instructions are minimal with only a few diagrams and no recommendations on finishing seams. Fortunately, I had just sewn a lined dress with invisible zipper (Carolyn Party Dress) for Mae which had step-by-step instructions with photos for zipper installation. I followed similar steps for this skirt which allowed me to avoid hand sewing the zipper to the lining.

I love the style of the skirt. It's a hybrid of a circle skirt and a gathered skirt, which I think is very flattering. The lining has darts instead of gathers, which keeps the waistline from being too bulky. I did note a couple limitations of the pattern. The skirt has side panels and no side seams, so it would be challenging to add pockets. Also, the hem is curved and the side panel seams are on an angle to the grainline, so it's not possible to match patterns at those seams. They would look a bit strange in a striped or checked print. I did my best to match the pattern at the back zipper seam. I took a couple inches off the length and used smaller seam allowances on the waistband to give myself a bit of extra room. Either the waistband has stretched a bit or I've lost weight (I haven't), because it's just a smidge too big now and sits a little lower on my waist than I'd like. I'll probably take a small tuck in the sides to shrink the waist a bit next time I wear it.

The top is a heavily modified Biscayne Blouse. I omitted the placket in the front and made the front collar one piece. In the back, I added a facing with a v-shaped opening and extended the collar pieces into long ties. I took the sides in by at least an inch each to remove some of the blousy-ness.

We had a great time at the wedding. I snagged a couple of cute decorated fortune cookies from the treats table for Mae (used as bribes for the cherry blossom photos). Stay tuned for more sewing projects!