Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Many Faces of Isabel

Apparently getting older leaves Isabel with mixed emotions...

Stage 1: Disbelief that she is getting that old

 photo DSC_0411_zps091c27c2.jpg

2) Shock as she finally acknowledges the fact that she IS getting older
  photo DSC_0412_zps5fdac0f2.jpg

3) Acceptance --- with a touch of humor..else she might end up crying?

 photo DSC_0414_zpsa044ae56.jpg

The cake was a surprise -- baked by a good friend (who is crazy and sets the bar so far up that I can't even see it)

 Grateful for all the family and friends who turned up (most who met Isabel for the FIRST time, which is crazy...and makes me kind of sad)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf - Day 10

Charlie followed us East...but the humid tropical weather proved too much for her as she was found with her head stuck into a pot of water....presumably to cool her down

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf: Day 8

Looking with interest at the crap that has exploded in my bedroom, in the name of packing.

Probably wondering if she'd be able to hitch a ride in the suitcase instead of finding her own way to our destination

Instagram: #adventuresofCharlietheElf

Friday, December 06, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf: Day 7


Or wondering "oh where, oh where has the kau fu gone?"

Instagram: #adventuresofCharlietheElf


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf: Day 6

Clearly.....watching me work was exhausting...


Instagram: #adventuresofCharlietheElf

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf: Day 5

Charlie has decided to be vaguely helpful and hung out (quite literally, hang...) in my study, which is currently moonlighting as momma's sewing workshop as I try and whip up side gifts for Isabel's teachers

Instagram: #adventuresofCharlietheElf

Monday, December 02, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf: Day 4

Sorry -- a little hiatus --- Isabel was away, so Charlie did not come -- probably off throwing snowballs at reindeer and other fun things like that. 

But Isabel's back, so Charlie's back.

And she roped in the Winx fairies for an elf vs. fairy tournament of air hockey

I suppose the fact that they have wings makes it easier to flit from end to end to protect their goal...or perhaps because Charlie is a tad challenged vertically, it makes it a bit hard for her to reach...Whichever it is, the fairies are winning, 7:3, the last I checked

Poor Charlie

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf: Day 3

Once again, she left her previous post without cleaning up her mess...


And appeared in the kitchen this morning, with sparkler in hand. Guess she is ready for the long holiday weekend? 

I feel the same way, Charlie.

Birthday, Part One

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that to kick my butt into high gear to finally tackle the half finished projects in the house, there needs to be a very definite deadline to get things done.

So I threw a party.

 photo IMG_4917_zps7c73d1ba.jpg

Isabel is turning five this year.

And since the big party will be in Malaysia this year, I had a small one earlier at the house.

 photo IMG_4918_zpsa54563ef.jpg

And invited some of her closest friends from her daycare whom she has not seen much of since starting kindergarten this fall

 photo IMG_4957_zpsbdee6d52.jpg

It makes the heart warm to see all of them together again
And something to note, almost 5 years olds are VERY noisy when they reunite.
Especially when they are all girls.

 photo 6041c73c-6bd9-4f96-bca4-91f86360ec43_zps127d12ff.jpg

All in all, it was fun.

The guest list was small enough for me to have time to pay attention to the presentation details and DIY crafts and decorations that I have seen on the web and thought, "Oh, that is such a fantastic idea!"

 photo IMG_4952_zps9d7b5148.jpg

The study/library worked exactly as I envisioned it when I was planned the room -- it was perfect for hosting a sit-down meal. 

 photo IMG_4915_zps7c4e7263.jpg 
2014 resolution: If my friends and family lived close by, I am sure that it would be a frequent occurrence, but I need to break out of my comfort zone and invite people over for meals (although I may want to leave the actual food cooking to the experts!)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf: Day 2

Isabel has a tendency to sneak into my bedroom in the middle of the night.

Last night, she crept in and said, "Momma...Charlie is GONE!" (from the bathroom)
Indeed...she was... (without cleaning up her lipstick scribble first, the little rascal)

We found her the next morning, settled into the doll trailer after her first exhausting night going to and from the North Pole...

Catching up on her favorite Christmas books after having what I assume was a bowl of hearty was licked clean, so I can only guess.

Isabel, checking out her hidey-hole

Instagram: #adventuresofCharlietheElf

Monday, November 25, 2013

Elf-ette on the Shelf: Day 1

Meet Charlie.

She is the little mischievous elf who has been assigned to Isabel by Santa. She will be reporting back to the big man on Isabel's behavior, to see if it Isabel deserves the items on her Christmas list, or if it warrants her a bag of coal.

The problem is, Charlie is a bit of a reprobate herself...

That first night, she decided that she needed to do something grand to grab Isabel's attention, seeing as it was the first time they were meeting each other.

The little stinker swung from the window over to the mirror to pen a greeting on the looking glass...with one of MY LIPSTICKS!

And here she is the next morning, looking all innocent and docile...

Except her little smirk gives it all away...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Going Batty

 photo IMG_4862_zpsab2d45f8.jpg

I've never decorated for Halloween before...Figured this was a good year as ever to start after an impulse purchase of $2 cobwebby fiber thingamajig from Savers....and cut out 60 bats, essentially copy-catting MADE.

And drew out this little ghost family portrait as a filler for an empty frame in my project-gallery-wall

 A little $5 Halloween decor project that makes everyday life a little less mundane. Cheap, easy and fun.

On another note, my coat stand broke (grrr) so it was the perfect time to change things up and put up these coat hooks...

Thing 1 and Thing 2, as Isabel puts it.

 photo IMG_4880_zps139e2897.jpg 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cake + Cloth Napkins = Impromptu Tea Time!

I finally went grocery shopping after trying to bleed out my fridge/freezer/pantry.
I have butter, oil and eggs again.


I can finally make a chocolate cake

purl bee tutorial napkins with giant ric rac, ooey gooey chocolate cake recipe photo IMG_4784_zps24799cac.jpg

Which prompted me to finally sew cloth napkins that have been on my to-sew list for years now.

purl bee tutorial napkins with giant ric rac photo IMG_4788_zps11cf517e.jpg

YEARS, I tell you, to sew up two squares together

purl bee tutorial napkins with giant ric rac photo IMG_4791_zps274adb7b.jpg

The fabric was even all cut up and ready to go...

Sometimes, I don't understand myself.

Napkin tutorial: Purl Bee's Spring Napkins (mine turned out more fiesta-ish than spring, which needs to be rectified)

Cake recipe: Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cake (note from the wise -- if using a springform/cheesecake pan, cover the outside of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent the water from seeping in while baking - else you'll end up like me, with a soggy cake that needs to be dried out  --- it was fine after microwaving slices for about 30 seconds prior to eating, but still...soggy cake is gross)

Friday, September 06, 2013

Lets Go Picking!

Welcome to my little square foot garden!
(LOVE my little harvest basket)

 photo IMG_4696_zps26bd24ba.jpg

Tomatoes are doing well -- I was under the impression that tomatoes should be in abundance in the middle of summer...If that is the case, my tomatoes (and eggplants, for that matter) are late bloomers

My Japanese (Ichiban) eggplants are doing well -- it has yielded quite an abundance (to me, at least) of fruit.
Whereas the regular eggplant has had of which is still in the mid-stages of growing.

 photo IMG_4700_zps15f2195d.jpg

It currently has about 4-5 that should be ready for picking in the next week of so, with some tiny little babies still growing (looks like a little Christmas light bulb!)

 photo IMG_4699_zps4f90408b.jpg

A regular harvest for me

 photo IMG_4702_zps0be19900.jpg

Sometimes in the span of a few days, a week, or longer than that -- it really depends on the plants - I do not treat it with fertilizer. I don't do much other than water them occasionally, to be honest.

Seems pitiful in comparison to serious gardeners. But it is sufficient for this household of 1 1/2.

Even with these meager pickings, I am at a loss of what to do with them sometimes, as there are only so many eggplant/tomato/basil cravings I get.

For today, it shall be a simple omelet type mash

 photo IMG_4710_zps5f9cff65.jpg

In other parts of the garden, my lavender in the side garden is going into second my lavender!


And a random picture of Isabel as she went to school this morning --

She looks like a skater girl/tomboy.
Rarely does she ever dress like this - it's the baggy jeans that gives that impression. Again, another outfit courtesy of her dad. 

They aren't really my style, but whatever floats her boat. She is still cute as a button 
(with a little hooligan hiding within that cuteness)

Monday, September 02, 2013

Little Gifts

Drawstring giftbag

For the girl, a book, a simple skirt and a reversible top:

Drawstring gift bag - girl

With little washi tape tags to indicate the size

And for her big brother, just some random little things, so that he has something too:

Drawstring giftbag - boy

I am quite enamored  with these little bags -- I think it would be perfect to put Christmas (4 more months!) gifts in.

I couldn't find a tutorial for making an unlined drawstring bag when I was settling down to make them for the 2 kids, so I winged my way through, using a buttonhole to weave the drawstrings through

unlined drawstring using a buttonhole

I even had half a mind to post a tutorial for this, but then I had a light bulb moment....

Wrong search words in Google.
 "Not lined" does not give you much in terms of results. "Unlined" was the correct search term.

I made another for one of Isabel's preschool teachers, this time using the "correct" method.

I don't know...I think I prefer using a buttonhole. Except I would alter it to include interfacing in order to strengthen the area, since it is unlined.