The Cool Kids

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Two awards and a crossroad..

Hello friends,

I was blessed to be given two blog awards this week! Some things are "right on time" and that's how I feel about all of the blog love lately.

Recently, I've been having a lull in my blogging. I'm sorry about that.

Have you ever had times where you're frustrated or disappointed...where you're a bit lost and not sure how to handle the life you have right now? Come on. I CAN'T be the only one... I find it hardest at these times, to be witty or crafty or sane. If I type what I'm really thinking, I fear I may scare some of my readers off or get arrested or something...

I told my husband last weekend that I was thinking of quitting the blog. I always wanted to make it to  25, 000 hits. It was huge number at one time to me.  Then this weekend, there it was. 25, 003. Fantastic. Now what?

When the man asked why I wanted to give up something I'd worked so hard to build, all I could answer was, "I don't know if I have anything else of substance to say".

Words matter. I know that. Because I say it all the time. I just have to figure out what to do with MY words.

While I was in the midst of all this contemplating, these awards came along.

Oh, how they make me smile.  I'm so proud of them and adore the people who passed them on to me. I love that readers have stopped by to check out what's going on in my world. I've gotten the chance to meet many new blogging friends, too; people I never would have met in "real" life. NOT meeting them would have been a shame, because many of us have so much in common. I'm more than grateful for those blog-ships and all the smiles that have accompanied them.

So Claire and Ashley?  Thanks for giving me another day of something else to say. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.

Thanks first to Claire, from Another New Day for passing on the Laine Blogger  award.

It's kind of a beauty-blogger award. I know. I'm not that much into the whole "beauty products" stuff.  Not because I don't want to be.  It is just that I'm a stay at home mom who sometimes doesn't wash off her make-up at night and wears her clothes to bed out of exhaustion. Before that, I was a teacher who played with pudding paints and strung Fruit Loop on yarn necklaces. It was hard to feel beautiful dressed in  an ABC jumper and clogs....

 None of that matters though, because I'm learning from these beautiful bloggers every day. Who knows, I may make it to the grocery someday with more than a ponytail and chapstick. I'm halfway kidding...

I've chosen to pass this award to the following five blogs. They are all written by some talented girls. Stop by if you get the chance, tell them I sent you and give them some sugar.

1. Across the Pond
2. Houndstooth & Heels
3. Sew much to do, Sew little time
4. A Little Dash of Diva
5. Barbara and 1923

To pass the award on,  you:

1. Tag the blogger who awarded you
2. Answer the 5 questions
3. Award it to 5 more bloggers

And my answers to the questions are:

1.What is your current beauty obsession?
Other than getting a brush through my hair? I'm loving the bright, creamy colors of nail polish out now. I've fallen for a Revlon periwinkle color. I only polish my toes, but it's been fun for summer flip-flop weather.

2. What is the one beauty item you wished you owned?
I was thinking that I wanted a big old bottle of WEN shampoo. The infomercials make it look like a hair miracle. But then, I read a hilarious review from a fellow blogger that changed my mind a bit. It is by the way, a must read.

I guess as a back up, I'd love any product that could make my freckles-turned large age-spots disappear.

3. What is your favourite post to read or write about?
I love reading/writing about sewing reviews, sweets and being an over-anxious mom, but even more, I love anything that makes me or my readers laugh.  

4. What inspired you to become a blogger?
Validation. It's a way to prove I'm still walking upright.

5. What nail polish are you wearing now?
Nothing on my fingers. On my toes? Avon's Ruby Red Slippers. So fun.

Thanks again, Claire @Another New Day!! Claire is also a teacher-turned-SAHM. She's from "across the pond". How cool is that?


My second award was given to me by Ashley over at Sorry Kid, Your Mom Doesn't Play Well With Others (I know, best blog name ever..) Thank you, Thank you for passing on the award! (wiping away yet another tear..) If you're not a perfect mom and you want to laugh until embarrassing things happen, stop over there now.

 Here are the Rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Add the award to your blog. 
2. Thank the person who presented it to you. 
3. List seven random facts about yourself. 
4. List the rules. 
5. Pass the award onto seven other bloggers. 
6. Inform each blogger they have won by posting a comment on their blog

Seven Random Facts about Myself:

1. I can decorate, sew and craft the bologna out of a house, but I will kill anything outside of one. I loathe gardening.

2. I've ALWAYS wanted to be a mom and a teacher. Always.. But, 
 I NEVER wanted to be married. Yeah, I didn't really think that one through, but thank goodness that all ended well.. 

3. I'm ambidextrous. I eat and write left handed, but do everything else with my right hand. (I wouldn't be caught dead in school using those Lefty scissors). Sure, I get ink/chalk/pencil lead on my hands from scraping them along my writing, but I can put away groceries and empty a dishwasher like a super hero.

4. I kill the environment by drinking water from water bottles. It's wrong. I know it, and I can't stop. Lukewarm water in a bottle is the best.

5. I'm a very good tipper and I always stack all of the dishes on the table to make it easier for the busboys/girls. Waiting tables seems hard, man.

6. There is nothing more important to me than the people that live in my house.

7. I love football season. The man and I waste a ridiculous amount of time watching college football on Saturdays. Then, the NFL on Sundays in the afternoon AND night.... Eventually Mondays...and Thursdays, too. We have the paper marked up every week with our picks. We're Mitten People first. Michigan Wolverines, Detroit Lions, and then every body else....ahem, Dallas Cowboys last. :P

There you go.

My 7  choices are people I constantly read or stalk. No, those two are not the same thing. Please go give them a look. You may be hooked as well :)

3. Frou Frou bynickie

Happy thoughtful Tuesday, friends.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What a difference a year makes..

Hello friends!

Well, today was the first day of school.

 I got up to make breakfast and yell, "Up and at 'em! It's a schoooooool-y day!" at the top of my lungs. (My kids love that..)

I dodged a shoe or two and eventually, everyone was up. One. Two. Three. Four. Well, most of us were up....

and so it goes:

Our youngest is in 2nd grade. Different missing teeth, shorter hair and one less pylon orange cast.

 Our middle child is now a Freshman in high school. His feet, legs and Ego are all growing nicely.

And then there is our eldest. No 1st day of school photo for her. She is entering college as a sophomore and doesn't start for another week. As hard as I tried (from far, far down the hallway), I was afraid to couldn't wake her.

Two out of three "ain't " bad, right?  

Happy beginning of another year, friends.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pattern Review: Simplicity 2444

Hello friends! Here is a review for a dress I made earlier this summer. I love the dress because it's made from a super light cotton gauze, but isn't see-thru. This is perfect for all of the super hot days we've been having.

Simplicity patterns joined with Project Runway to make the pattern. What I alike about these types of patterns is that they give you options on sleeve length, collar type, belts, and lengths. By this, you get at least five different dresses to make. They seem versatile enough to make from different fabrics, thus having dresses I can make for every season. That works for me.

I really did intend to have this dress have sleeves....but I messed them up royally. I think I hemmed the wrong end and then tried to attach them backwards. Ridiculous. I'm glad I was able to convert the dress to sleeveless.....cause you KNOW I'm going to wear a cardigan with it anyway.

It's a keeper.


Pattern Description: This pattern is a multi-choice dress inspired by Project Runway. The dress has a choice of neckline- scoop, standing or cape. The sleeves can be short, three quarter length or sleeveless. Each dress can be made with or without a sash and have the option to add a store-bought belt. The bodice has angled darts that meet the pleats in the skirt. The dress falls right at the knee. It also has pockets!

Pattern Sizing:The pattern I bought was size D5 It comes with 4,6,8,10, 12 European sizing 30-38, French 32-40. I'm a RTW 4, so I went with a size 10 and didn't grade because the skirt was full, and the dress had a belt. I decided to go with the dress with a store bought belt, standing collar and sleeveless style.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. I originally cut the dress to have short sleeves, but for some reason, I had the worst time attaching them. I think I may have hemmed the wrong end...I will have to mark better next time.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were very simple to follow. The dress came together easily.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved that the darts in the bodice matched up so well with the pleats in the dress. It fits very well and having pockets on any girly-dress is a plus. I didn't like the fact that I struggled so hard with the sleeves. This has been an ongoing problem with me, so I'll just have to keep trying at that!

Fabric Used: I used a beautiful beach-y cotton gauze. The pattern is bright, but the fabric is light enough for the hottest days of summer. We sure have had our share of those!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I had to change the sleeves to the sleeveless style. It was my fault and it will be fine since I'll wear a cardigan with it anyway :)I also had to cut off an inch from the length.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Oh yeah, I will sew this again. I have to get the sleeves right! I would love to try this in a light color flannel for the fall. Longer sleeves. Wish me luck! I would also recommend the pattern to anyone who knows how to attach sleeves. (Probably every other woman on the face of the earth. )

Conclusion:This is a flattering dress that has a bit of a retro feel. I love that there are so many options to this dress. I can easily see making one for each season, and again, the pockets are fantastic!

Simplicity 2444 Cotton gauze
Pattern 2444/ purchased belt

Simplicity 2444 with cardigan

pattern 2444 lazy posture (laughing with daughter-photographer)

Patter 2444 back view zipper, hook and eye fastener

Pattern 2444 with Pockets!! Woo Hoo!

Happy Last Days of Summer, friends!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I am so honored...

Thanks so very much to Josie B. from GO MOMMA for passing on to me, the Liebster Award. I'm not going to say I was excited when I saw the accolade, but I'm debating printing the award off and hanging it next to my college degrees...

Okay. Not really. But I am so touched. Sure, ten other bloggers were given this recognition too, but I was one of 11 winners!

The man and I were on our last day of a beautiful vacation on Monday, when I found out about the award. I was checking in on my favorite bloggers and there it was...all written out. Josie (the gift-giver) couldn't notify me personally because she was, birth! Likely excuse, I know. I got an award and she got a beautiful baby girl. It's kind of the same, eh?

Anyway, writing this blog has been quite a journey for me. I have made and reconnected with many friends from both the blog and the real world. I'm still unfamiliar with so much of the "linking up/ guest blogging/award thingys", but I'm having a blast learning.

I started writing for my extended family and friends from Michigan. I wanted to be able to keep in touch and let them see how my world was spinning. I also was writing for my friends because everyone needs a laugh or six, and writing about my crazy life seemed to be the most logical thing to do to make them smile.

Since the blog's beginning, I've been able to introduce my little shellybean shop, share parenting mishaps, give out a few unhealthy recipes, show some pattern reviews and show off my inept attempts at home improvement. I hope that those of you who have followed (pun intended) along, have found something to smile about or laugh at. As always thank you for reading and especially for letting me know you've stopped by. Comments are like crack to me. I'm not kidding. Completely legal crack, of course.

The wonderful thing about the Liebster award (besides the fact that I get to twirl around on my kitchen floor yelling, "They like me! They really like me!") is that I get to pay it forward to more bloggers. That makes me extremely happy. (please video your winning twirl).

Okay. Here are the rules to the new Liebster winners:

1. Please give your most honest (or creative) answers to my eleven (Holy Hannah, 11?) questions.

2. Come up with 11 questions of your own. (Make them awesome, and if you get juicy answers, link back to me!)

3. Choose 11 of your favorite bloggers to pass the award onto. They must have FEWER than 200 followers. I love this part because you're finding and introducing new bloggers to the blogging universe and letting them know that they matter. How cool is that?

Here are my 11 answers to Josie B.'s thoughtful questions. Deep breath.....Try not to lie. Try not to lie.

1. Who are you writing for (besides yourself) when you blog?

To be honest, I think I started blogging because I was trying to validate that I belonged in the world. My whole family was back in Michigan, I had quit teaching to be a stay at home mom, and I just thought that I could find myself through writing. Like I mentioned earlier, it was also a means to let my family and friends (near and far) know that I was alive and kicking. Now, I enjoy chronicling the funny parts of my life. I try to make sure people know that I'm far from a perfect wife, mother or friend. I'm trying to get by. Just like everyone else, except that I need much more chocolate.

2. Which of your family members (if any) enjoy reading your blog?

The man usually reads everything I write because I go into edit-crazy mode before I post. Sometimes I think he wonders whether or not the world needs to know so much about our world, but he's as supportive as they come. Some of my family from Michigan reads regularly. My sister comments the most (she know how much that means). The man's sister checks my blog every day ( I love that about her). The man's family reads often, as well, but don't like to comment. It's okay though because they always say nice things to me about the blog later on...

3. How much information is TMI for you?

For me personally, there is no such thing as TMI. I grew up in a neighborhood of a million kids who taught me all kinds of things about the world. I also gave birth three times in front of a multitude of strangers and heard ten years of students talk about the goings on in their homes...Nothing shocks me. My blog, on the other hand, is much milder. I do have to consider that a lot of my readers know me as a Kindergarten teacher and not the girl "with a sketchy past." Every once in a while that girl pops up., but in small increments, as not to put any reader (or in-law) into the fetal position...

4. What's the worst "groan" joke you can think of?

Again, I was a kindergarten teacher and have two teenagers. I also have a husband who is ALL boy. If jokes have anything to do with bodily functions, I've heard them all. Let's see.

"Eeyore? Have you seen Tigger?"
Eeyore: No, but I just came back from the toilet and saw a little POOH...

How do you get a Kleenex to dance?
You put a little boogie in it. Bad-um-bum. I'm here all week.

5. What subjects are off limits on your blog and why?

 I don't love to speak about my health. The occasional cold and flu is one thing, but anything else is a little weird for me; unless I'm able to help someone, then I guess I'm game.

Also off limits? All the reasons my sex life is better than anything you'd find in 50 Shades of Grey. (that was just to check if you were still with me)

6. Have you ever offended anyone with your blog and would you care if you did?

I've never offended anyone with my blog, but I did stir up quite a fodder when a mean girl from high school caught wind of it. Mind you, I have been graduated for 24 years. For a few days on FB, I was the girl whose life was all rainbows and glitter.  She tried to be mean about its positivity every chance she could.  It killed me for a while until I realized I was so far removed from her lifestyle, she probably couldn't relate. How can most people change and grow so vastly, yet others stay in the exact same place? When I understood that, I had to let it go.

7. What did you laugh about today?

The man and I were looking at a ridiculous site called "Uh-pinions". It's a place where people write reviews on products (like on Amazon) that are completely hilarious. Being that their parents have zero class, our children found us rolling on the floor trying to talk through laughs. Please. Check it out.

8. When is the last time you cried and why?

My aunt posted a picture of my Grandfather from the summer before he died. In the picture, he was in a swimming pool, sitting on a large, blow-up alligator. The look on his face was mid-laugh and it was everything wonderful I remembered about the man who helped raise me. The gratitude and sorrow I have at his memory are palpable. I bawled heaving cries knowing he would tell me not to get any tears on his good grass...I miss him with my soul. The cleansing cries since, still haven't erased how much I miss him.

9. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

Easy. When my daughter (about 7 years old), asked me if she was going to get "boobs" like me? I was in the bathtub at the time. When I answered yes, she cringed and asked, "Are they going to touch my stomach like yours do?" Oh, I love me some humility.

10. Who makes you laugh the most and why?

Hands down. My children. They are kind, caring kids. But I'm absolutely most proud of their humor. They are quick, sarcastic and get every ounce of that from me. Watching the Olympics the other day, our daughter got up from her chair and without looking, left the room saying "Congratulations on not raising any Olympic Champions. No gold for this house. Good on you, Mom." So. proud.

11. What's the funniest thing you've ever seen?

Too many funny things. That's what makes my world go round. While we were on our vacation though, my son thought this would be a cool note to leave with the hotel workers.

To any hotel workers, I apologize profusely.

Okay, friends. Here are my Liebster Award winners:

1.  Ann @ West of Zion
2.  Jackie's Sewing
3.  Kooky Quirky Cute
4.  Kerri @ Mummy and the Monsters
5.  Tara @ Therapy4Roses
6.  Applebypie @ Another New Day
7.  Karen @ Baking in a Tornado
8.  Johanna @ Handmade Dreams of Mine
9.  Tara Denny @ Nowhere to go but crazy
10. Behind the Smile
11. a pretty mess @ needles, eggshells and hair spray

Here are my eleven questions for you.

1. What was the title of your very first post and what was it about?

2. How did you come up with the name of your blog?

3. Do you have an underground blog or does everyone in your world know you write it?

4. Have you ever had to deal with negative comments?

5. What is your worst pet peeve?

6. Do you think it's important to respond to every comment?

7. Do you blog for money? If yes, has it been worth it?

8. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. One day. What would you eat?

9. Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

10. At this moment in your life, are you content?

11. Do you see yourself blogging for the long haul?

That's it! Congrats, Liebster winners! I can't wait to read your answers.

For the rest of my friends.. will you answer #8 or #9 or #10 (or all) in the comments sections? I really would love to know more about you :)

Happy "Hey-we're-all-winners-here" day, friends!

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