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For the first time in years, I actually need a Halloween costume.  My friends and I are attending the Rally to Restore Sanity down in DC, which also happens to be Halloween weekend.  Since we’ve got a free futon to crash on, we are staying the night to enjoy the holiday festivities.  I mean, Halloween in DC has got to be an experience, right?

One of those temporary Halloween costume stores opened in the abandoned Office Max near my house, so last Saturday I went hunting for a costume.  I left the store thoroughly discouraged and frustrated.  As a female, my only options consisted of  little fabric and the word “sexy” in the name; Sexy Nurse, Sexy Eskimo, Sexy Pirate, Sexy Skeleton… How did Halloween become an excuse for girls to parade around in public in their underwear?

I was driving home when it finally hit me: Glee.  Current, campy, easily sourced… brilliant!

Naturally at first I wanted to be Sue Sylvester.

Sue Sylvester

I would be so comfortable and warm in a track suit and sneakers.  The snide remarks I will inevitably make as I get more and more intoxicated would be part of my character.  Problem is, I have long blond hair.  Sue has short pixie hair.  I do not look good with short pixie hair.  I could wear a wig, but the thought makes my scalp itchy.

On to plan B: The Cheerios.  Although I can’t pull off Sue, I can certainly be one of her minions.

Santana, Quinn and Brittany

I didn’t realize how easy it would be to find a cheerleader uniform. Did you know they sell them on Amazon.com?  It took a bit of searching, but I came across just the right one at GTM Sportswear.

cheerio topcheerio skirt

Custom ordering the WMHS put on the shell would have taken six weeks for delivery.  Since I’m a pretty crafty gal, I am confident this is something I could handle myself.

And I know what you’re thinking: The skirt I bought is a line, but the Cheerios wear pleats.  Au contraire mon frere!  The Cheerios have several types of uniforms!  Look at the picture of Quinn I found wearing an a line similar to my costume.

Quinn Fabre

I’ve been tracking Fedex all week and my uniform is finally scheduled to deliver tomorrow.  When I finish putting on the letters, I’ll post a picture.  I haven’t been this excited about Halloween since I was ten and went to my first boy/girl party!

 

I am not normally a girl who is fashion obsessed. I am a sneakers and jeans, over sized sweatshirt wearing faux pas. It’s not that I don’t like to get dressed up and look pretty.  I’m convinced no one is looking anyway, so why not enjoy the comfort of my red Cons and Moose Lodge sweatshirt while sipping my Blue Moon? It’s like a tragic Taylor Swift song.

Despite my fashion aversion, I have fallen in love with this jacket.

Okay, ignore the person wearing it and focus on the jacket.  Great, right?

I’ve been scouring the Internet for months now trying to find it.  I even emailed the Deschanel Style blog to help.  (I’m the April 30th, 2010 post). To my dismay, I have come to the conclusion that it’s vintage or worth several of my paychecks.

Determined to find my perfect jacket, I have uncovered several alternatives I will share with you now.

Ann Taylor’s Grey Tweed Jacket with Ruffle Collar is my favorite, but naturally sold out.  If you find this somewhere in a size 12, notify me and I will be your best friend for life. I’d post a pic, but Java is not cooperating.  You’ll have to do the hard work and click the link yourself.

Rounding out third is the City DKNY Solid 3/4 Sleeves Ruffles Jacket.  At a little over $50, it’s not a bad alternative.

Black DKNY Ruffle Jacket

On the higher end of my budget, there is the DVF Form Fitting Cropped Jacket.

As a well endowed girl, the idea of a cropped jacket is a little frightening.  Nevertheless, you can’t nay say if you don’t try it on.

With these options, I am encouraged by all the models pairing their jackets with jeans.  I have purchased the DKNY and hope to shock my friends by replacing my standard hoodie at our next bar outing.  Do you think I can still wear my red Cons?

I’ve done some internet research, yet still haven’t quite figured out who came up with the genius baby shower gift known as The Diaper Cake.  The closest inventor I have found is the website Baby Bingo, who’s claim to fame is the provider of Charlotte’s gift to Miranda on Sluts in the City.

I myself have never watched the show (seriously.) and came across the idea while searching for creative gifts to give a good friend of mine who was having her first child.  As a crafty girl, I could not just buy clothes and toys to be forgotten about days later as she wrote out her thank you notes (I made those too).  I needed to come up with something practical, memorable, and fantastic that would earn me accolades amongst my friends.  Hence, the Awesome Diaper Cake was created.

It starts out simple enough.  I like to use size 2 diapers, because then the parents can enjoy my creation for a few months before having to destroy it with poo.  First step is to roll the diapers tightly, opening in the middle, and secure with a rubber band.

Second, the diapers need to fastened in a circle as tightly as possible.  I do this with various sized large rubber bands until I’m sure they’re not going to pop out.

Rolled Diapers

I went for Huggies Eco Friendly Cotton

The beginning of a layer

The beginning of a layer

Bottom layer complete

Tightly secured bottom layer

Create a base for the cake using a heavy cardboard.  I’ve been known to be cheap and use a pizza box covered in tin foil.  Foam core also works well.  I like to do this after I have created the bottom layer when I know how large of a cake I will have.

Cake base

Cake base (foam core covered in tin foil = classy)

Your cake can be as wide, skinny, tall or short as you’d like it.  I find three fat layers usually makes an impressive size.  Make your layers just as you did the first, decreasing in girth as you go.  Don’t worry about evenly distributing diapers and making exact circles or you will drive yourself insane.

3 Tiers

This 3 tiered cake was made with 72 diapers

Now for the hardest part: getting the layers attached to the base.  I like to use a wooden dowel purchased from the craft store, found in the wood crafting section.  A good dose of Duct Tape will conect it to the base.  A word to the wise: Make sure to remove the stickiness of the tape’s edges or else you will get ripped, unusable diapers.  My trick is to cover my hand in baby powder and give the tape a good hand job.  And who cares if you get a little Johnson & Johnson on the diapers?

Dowel taped to base

Wooden dowel taped to the base

Find the middle of your bottom layer and carefully lower it onto the stick.  This might require some dis assembly or movement of rubber bands.  It’s not an exact science.  As with everything, the first time is always the hardest.  You’ll put the remaining layers on like a pro.

Assemble layer 1 on base

This is the after photo. It all fell apart on me twice.

At this point, I usually have to cut the dowel to size.  I’ve used everything from scissors to gardening shears, even branch clippers, to complete this task.  The end doesn’t have to be clean because you’re going to cover it.  If you’re worried, you could always sand it down or cover it with more Duct Tape.

Dowel cut to size

Make sure you leave enough at the top for decoration.

The best part of the creative process is the decoration.  The possibilities are endless!  If you’re having a hard time getting started, you can cheat and Google “diaper cakes” for ideas.

Adding the ribbon

I added a little ribbon with the help of clothes pins until the glue dries.

Adding decoration

If you're adding anything with wire, cut a straw in half and use it to slide between the diapers so you don't rip them.

Almost done

Had to cut a hole in the rubber duck for the dowel, but he's still usable.

Below is my current completed cake and two of my previous.  Whatever you decide, the receiver will adore your thoughtfulness.  Enjoy the praise from your fellow shower goers!  You deserve it!

Completed front

Completed front...

Completed back

Completed back!

Stefanie's diaper cake

Stefanie's diaper cake side...

Stefanie's diaper cake side 2

Stefanie's diaper cake side 2...

Stefanie's cake top

Stefanie's cake top!

Karen's diaper cake

Karen's diaper cake

Materials list:

  • Foam Core or heavy cardboard for base
  • Wooden dowel, stable enough to hold the layers but thin enough to cut
  • Scissors or clippers to cut through the dowel
  • A bag of multiple sized rubber bands
  • Diapers, preferably size 2 (I like the ones without designs so as not to distract from the decorations)
  • Ribbon
  • Decorations
  • “Cake” topper such as a rubber duckie or stuffed animal

Optional:

  • Shrink wrap bag
Wrapped in shrink wrap

Packaged and ready for transport.

My cousin and his wife are expecting their first bundle of joy in July. Since my mom has confiscated my usual baby shower gift, the awesome diaper cake, as her own, I have been forced to one up myself with something even more boss.

I went to Michael’s in search of supplies for a completely different project and came across the cutest book I have ever seen: Aranzi Aronzo’s Baby Stuff.

I love arugumi, but I’ve been unable to knit lately.  Seems I’ve strained my left wrist after practicing “Through the Fire and Flames” on Guitar Hero too much and now I can only knit for half an hour before I get a shooting pain up my arm.  Small price to pay for 80% on hard.

Aronzo’s Baby Stuff is chock full of great ideas that are arugumi inspired and can mostly be made in a day.  For this occasion, I settled on two items: terrycloth baby bibs and drool towels.  First up are the bibs.

For four hand embroidered bibs and four drool towels, this project comes in right at the $25-30 price range I like to spend.  The only thing I needed to purchase was the terrycloth ($5.99/yard at JoAnn Fabrics) and the stabilizer ($5.99).  I rifled through my leftover supplies from previous projects for the embroidery floss (usually $0.39 to $0.59 at the craft store) and tracing paper is a staple in my craft box.  I also suggest if you want to do this project, you should probably get carbon paper for tracing the patterns on the fabric.  I was cheap and skipped that step.

The impatient person that I am, I didn’t read the directions before sitting down to start my crafting.  The patterns in the book are not to scale and need to be copied at 140% their printed size.  Instead, I chose to do a little simple math and viola!

The rotary cutter is the best quilter’s tool ever!

I cut the neck hole out of tracing paper first so I didn’t waste fabric.

I’m sure it’s not the same size as the pattern in the book, but it does the trick.

After the annoying part of cutting everything to size, the fun could begin.  Here is where I strayed from the instructions.  This bib pattern was to be embroidered with some creepy looking smiley faces, but I chose to use the animal patterns they provided for a different project.  I traced them out of the book and transferred the pattern to the terrycloth by punching holes through the tracing paper with a fine tipped marker.


Tracing the pattern from the book

Characters transferred to fabric.  Make sure they’re in the middle and evenly spaced!

The instructions don’t mention using a stabilizer, but I highly recommended using it whenever doing embroidery.  If you’re a tight stitcher like me, it is a great way to make the fabric stiffer and avoid gaping holes from pulling too tight.  I used a basic back stitch and french knots to outline the characters.  After experimenting, I found that three or four embroidery threads with long stitches work best on terrycloth.

Pig, Elephant & Froggie

The bumble bee is my favorite

All that’s left is to sew them together and add Velcro to hook around the neck.  I bought green terrycloth and will probably make two more along with the adorable bunny shaped drool cloths.  I am very happy with the way they turned out and they will make an excellent gift.

In case you were curious, here is an example of one of my awesome diaper cakes.  You will be blessed with instructions in a future post.  However, if we ever attend the same baby shower and you steal my thunder, I will kick your ass.

Kids, let me talk you down from the ledge. It’s all going to be okay.

Seriously.  Repeat it with me.  It’s all going to be okay.

I am a terrible person and could not wait, so as soon as I got home from work I streamed the 100th Bones episode “The Parts of the Sum in the Whole.”  Can I just say it is so not fair that Canada gets it one day earlier?  You can put that on my list of reasons I want to move there along with universal health care.

As a rabid spoiler reader, I was in denial for weeks.  I didn’t want to believe that my beloved Brennan would break Booth’s lion heart.  This is just the promotional machine churning out flotsam to get us all excited and to buy their magazines or watch their entertainment news!  They just want to tease us and drive us mad!

Denial moved into shock after seeing the last five minutes.  Cried like a friggin’ baby.  It is then the sharp pain in the heart hit me like a brick.  Watched the last five minutes again, cried some more. Took the dog for a walk around the block and sobbed.  The neighbors must have thought someone died.

My anger and depression phases typically morph together, which is exactly what happened on my stroll with Max.  There I was, in my flip flops and pajama pants, lit cigarette waving in the air as I scold the Brennan in my head:

Seriously, Bren?  He knew the moment he met you six years ago and you’re still afraid of him leaving you?  He said he wants to be with you for “thirty, forty, fifty years” and you can’t bring yourself to even try?  I’m sorry, but rationally, that’s total bullshit.

I hope to God I wasn’t rambling out loud.  I was sort of in a daze.

By the time I returned back home, ready for the 8:00 airing on Fox, I came to the conclusion that it’s all going to be okay.  We’ve got at least a season left, maybe two.  We’ve also got actors, actresses, writers, creators, and all sorts of other crazy decision makers in our court.  Let us remind ourselves that that this is not Moonlighting, this is just a much more evolved Remington Steele. It may have taken every. single. episode, but Laura Holt got her man in the end, right?  And Hart Hanson has proven he is not Chris Carter by allowing us to see Booth and Brennan’s private relationship evolve on screen along with their professional one.

So I say, let us just calm down.  It’s gonna be okay.  It’s in good hands.  After all, isn’t that what Cyndi Lauper said she saw in the cards?

A good friend of mine had been touting Bones for years.  She lived with me through my college years, which I refer to as “My Obsession Trifecta: Buffy, X-Files, and All My Children.”  During last TV’s season finale craze, I happened upon the final episode and instantly fell in lust.

First, David Boreanez.  I can watch that man read the phone book for hours, preferably with his shirt off.  SO much hotter than Edward, those thirteen year old Twilight girls have no idea how sexy a vampire can be.  As much as I loved Angel, Agent Seely Booth has that combination of goofyness and moral compass that any girl could melt over.

However lately, I’ve been Emily Deshanel obsessed.  My connection with Dr. Temperance Brennan (more in future posts, I promise) led me to venture more into the elder Deschanel sister’s resume to see where this chick has come from.  The answer: left field.  Her body of work prior to Bones is rife with guest appearances in TV Shows (Law & Order: SVU, Providence), bit parts in films (Spiderman 2, Cold Mountain) and crap that is downright unwatchable due to poor writing.  Seriously.  Try to get through Boogeyman. Tell me you didn’t keep with Easy just for the sex scenes with the dude from Lost. Legend has it she came to Hart Hanson’s casting couch at the recommendation of Jerry Bruckheimer, who just finished producing her in Glory Road.  Thank God. It was clear that Hollywood saw talent, but didn’t know what to do with the package it came in.

What do I mean?  Emily Deshanel is not a waif like the rest of the women you see in films.  She’s got hips and thighs and… Hollywood forbid, breasts.  She’s got the body of a 50’s film star, which seems to confuse the hell out of casting directors these days.  Sure, blast me for commenting on an actress’ weight and body type.  You only argue because you know I’m right.

Quick Google searches have led me to a multitude of websites devoted to Emily’s animal rights activism, desire to be environmentally friendly, and even her fondness for Stella McCartney .  It also increases my fascination that she’s dating Rickety Cricket.  Do you think she hangs out with Sweet Dee and Mac?

It is my only hope that one day, Ms. Deschanel is cast in another meaty role that elevates her to the status she deserves.  Here’s hoping it’s a slapstick comedy. For now, I will enjoy Bones and be thankful for any little tidbit she will divulge in testimony her awesomeness.

Thank you for humoring me.  I’m just so excited about the 100th episode.

Bra Shopping

Dear Bra Manufacturers: Just because God gave me a DD cup size doesn’t mean I have only a 40 or above sized ribcage.

I went to Target in search of bras.  It is rare for me to find my correct size, 32DD, so I tend to wear them beyond recognition.  Back when I pretended to have cash, I would typically hit up a department store.  These days, I am attempting to be good with my money, so I ventured to the local Target.

Shopping for bras at a department store was always a chore.  I would gear myself up and think Macy’s or Lord & Taylor would have a much better variety, because they are bigger.  Maybe I can find something cute with a little pink bow!  After an hour of ripping through the racks, I would spend $150 on the only three bras that came in my size: Three lace granny-style corsets that only come in the colors white, beige, and black.

After just spending my life’s savings on a trip to St. Maarten (in May!), my bank account lacks the funds to spend on expensive granny bras.  Hence, I headed to the land of reasonably priced middle class goods.  It only took twenty minutes to go through the limited selection and find nothing was anywhere close to my size.   The few DD cups they had were 40 or above.  Maybe I’m a popular size?  I was corrected by the store’s signage.  The one brand that made cup sizes over D started at ribcage 38.  Once again, I dropped my ducats on three lace granny-style corsets that only come in the colors white, beige, and black.  Except this time, I only spent $30.

Future purchase: Bathing Suit