Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Arch
Part 4 (and final!) of our 3-Day Weekend in St. Louis

Our last stop on our way out of St. Louis was at the Arch, a.k.a. Gateway to the West. After having attended a graduation, then a wedding, then visited with new friends, we were more than ready to come home, relax and get our life back in track, but the family decided at the last minute that they wanted to go up the arch... so up we went.

It was a lot more fun that I anticipated. The kids had a blast and it afforded me some awesome photo ops... (click any of these pics to super-size them)


I am a sucker for modern architecture and this is the epitome of modern architecture... a sleek, shiny, steel structure that towers up above the city of St. Louis. The Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet!


And the best part is.... you can ride it!


Up at the top I couldn't resist taking some pics of the city. I love this one (east side) because it shows the shadow of the arch over the river...


This one (west side, showing the Cardinals baseball stadium) is cool too because it actually shows the curvature of the horizon...


I got vertigo while shooting this one... eeek!


After the arch, we goofed around for a bit...


What a fantastic way to end this fun-filled weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Visit
Part 3 of our 3-Day Weekend in St. Louis

After recovering from our numerous weekend festivities, on Sunday afternoon we headed off to the home of fellow Michael Miller designer, Laura Gunn. Laura was such a doll! We hit it off immediately. We spent a couple hours in her beautiful home, with her lovely family, eating yummy homemade desserts.

I got to take a peek at her new fabric collection, Lantern Bloom, which will be debuting this Fall as well. It is just as gorgeous as her paintings which decorate every inch of her home. We chatted about school, kids, travel, work and even computer games (yes, our husbands were there too!)

For all you Cook It. Blog It! fanatics out there, check out Laura's latest blog posting, where she has shared her recipe for the scrumptious, finger-lickin' good Peach Crisp she served us during our visit (I stole the below picture from her blog... just looking at it makes me drool!)


Thanks for everything, Laura! Can't wait to catch up again at Quilt Market.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Wedding
Part 2 of our 3-Day Weekend in St. Louis

Let's start with a few pre-wedding shots.

Beautiful gowns...


On the bed...

Bridezilla... hahaha... just kidding! She was the most calm, most at-ease bride I have ever seen (especially considering that we had an incredibly short time to get everything ready for it!)


And now, the wedding!

First off, I want to apologize for not having any pictures of the actual ceremony, which was breathtaking by the way. Since I was the Maid of Honor and my whole family was in the wedding party, I had to reluctantly hand my SLR over to a friend of my sister's. So what you're seeing here are a few pictures he took with my camera.

The wedding party at the receiving line after the ceremony.
From right to left, the Bride & Groom, Best Man Steve, Jon & I, Danielle & Matt, Felicity & Chris, Ring-Bearer Asja, Flower-Girls Sophie & Sydney:


Bride and Bridesmaids (yes, my dress fit... just barely!):


The Bridesmaids (Danielle, Patty & Felicity):


Bride & Maid of Honor:


Flower Girls Sophie & Sydney:


First Dance as husband & wife:


Father-Daughter Dance:


There was some singing...


A lot of dancing...


And a heck of a lot of hugging...
(here is my sister & I with our sweet cousin Olga, who came all the way from Puerto Rico!)



And then it got interesting.
Threshold smesh-hold! How 'bout I carry you over the ice cold fountain, honey?



We couldn't let the bride & groom have all the fun...


So what if we all had rented tuxes, made-to-order dresses and $100 up-do's?!? This was a sympathy soaking...


I stood on the sidelines documenting the festivities, but the second I set my camera down I was carried over the fountain too!!!


Did I ever mention having a crazy family?!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Graduation
Part 1 of our 3-Day Weekend in St. Louis

We truly packed in as much as we could this past weekend. We left on Friday to attend a Graduation and a Wedding, but we also got to see family members we hadn't seen in ages, meet new friends and even do some light sightseeing. A great time was had by all!

So, since this is way too much to post at once (and to tell you the truth, I just can't edit pictures fast enough since I had over 200 of them) I will break this up into installments.

First off we have THE GRADUATION. My sister, Catherine Prann, and her fiancé (and now husband) Jason Alviene received their Doctorate degrees this past Saturday from the Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, MO. All their hard work finally paid off and we couldn't be happier for them.

Here is the happy couple right after commencement.



My sister graduated with High Honors so she received a special award at the beginning of the ceremony.



We have a Doctor in the family ... and the documentation to prove it!


I am so proud of my lil' sis...


The girls had some fun playing "graduate"...


And even did some posing for ol' mom...


The family got together for a family picture (sans the graduates). Here we have my cousin Olga and her husband Jorge (on the far left of this picture), who came all the way from Puerto Rico to celebrate with us. We were so happy to see them again! Then right next to them we have my mom & dad (a.k.a. mami & papi) who came up from Florida this weekend and are staying through the week.


Patty, Sydney, Olga & Sophie:


Tomorrow, if time permits, I will share pictures of the wedding... which, believe it or not, went off without a hitch just hours after the Graduation.

Then I will also share pictures of our meeting with Michael Miller designer Laura Gunn and her lovely family. Check out her blog today... she has posted a recipe for her homemade peach crisp which I was lucky enough to try at her house.

It's good to be back.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My daily dose of laughter...

So, thanks to my dear friend Kristen (she always finds the coolest blogs out there), I now subscribe to Photoshop Disaster's feed and I am so glad I do. This blog is right up my alley. Being a former Adobe instructor, I've seen my fair share of Photoshop disasters in my professional career. So many that I could run a blog like this one.

This past Wednesday, they posted this picture and I couldn't help but laugh my BUTT off...



So I just wanted to come in here and share with the rest of my sewing enthusiast friends. Check out the original post here. The best part is reading the comments... which on this particular post are up to 50 right now! Warning: if you don't like to hear or read profanity, please stay away from the comments section. ;)

We're off to St. Louis tomorrow morning for my sister's wedding. And on Sunday we have been invited over for dessert at Laura Gunn's house... can't wait to finally meet her!

Be back next week with a slew of pictures! Have a great weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back To School!

I apologize for my bloggy absence. It's not like me to leave things unattended for such a long period of time, but this week I have had very little spare time and so some things had to be put on the back burner.

For the most part, we've been preparing for the BIG DAY... back to school! So, I wanted to share some pictures with you.

Tuesday night (Aug. 19th) was our "meet & greet" session in which all students had to bring in their supplies and meet their new teacher and future BFFs. Sydney's was first. I made her an appliqued pillow to bring to school for naptime. She loved it. It made me feel good.

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Here she is pointing at her name taped on the table. She is so excited to be going to "big girl school"... and mama is excited to have a few hours each day for herself. ;)

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Next, we headed over to Sophie's "meet & greet." Sophie is in 1st grade now, which means no more naps so she didn't get a mama-made pillow. I will make her one for her bedroom anyway because I had so much fun creating Sydney's.

bts3

And, of course, we had to get a similar picture of her pointing at her name taped on the table. I know, I'm such a dork!

bts4

But today was the BIG DAY! The girls got up earlier than usual and were dressed and ready to go with plenty of time (no, I won't get used to that because I know it's only a matter of days before I'm back to my usual routine of yelling at the top of my lungs every morning for them to m o v e i t). But today, it was nice to actually have a relaxed morning and have time for the token mailbox picture.

bts5

bts6

Sydney wore one of her favorite MODKIDs and while walking from the car to the classroom I got asked 3 times where I bought her outfit at. That felt good too! :)

bts7

So, now I am hoping my life will return to a less chaotic state. I will have 3 hours each morning of peace & quiet, so I hope to be able to accomplish a lot. I usually can accomplish a lot even with screaming children all over me, so just imagine!

As for the fabric restrikes... they pretty much came & went. I didn't share pics, as I had promised, because there was not much to share. I thought I was actually getting some fabric to fondle, but I only received tiny little swatches that I had to approve and send back to the mill right away for final production. I should receive yardage here in about 3 - 4 weeks and then the angels will sing.

This Friday we leave for a 3-day weekend in St. Louis, for the other BIG DAY... my sister's wedding! WOOOHOOO! Last time I checked, my bridesmaid dress still fit, so I hope that's still the case (I guess I should stop snacking on those dark cocoa covered almonds, eh? so much for my sugar-free diet!)

See you all next week!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Check it out!

Well, the strike offs never came today... darn FedEx!!!! The tracking info still shows it in Memphis, TN... WTH!? So, I can't share any new Andalucia pictures with you today, but what I can share is this wonderful interview over at Boutique Buyers Blog. This is my first interview that focuses solely on my fabric design and it was so fun to do. If you want to learn a bit more about my background & experience and some history regarding Andalucia and fabric design in general, head on over to Boutique Buyers Blog and check it out.

psssst... there are a couple of discount codes at the end of the interview. And just so you know, when it gets to be a bit closer to Quilt Market, I will be closing both of my Etsy stores to concentrate on all the time-consuming preparations for the show, so if there is anything you want, I suggest you grab it now because I won't have any time to make or send anything out later. ;)
Frantic Friday

I was awakened this morning by the sound of Sydney screaming her little head off Daddy, Daddy, Daaaaaaddy! as she pounded on the front door. I didn't panic because this has happened before, just usually not this early. It was 6:45 am and I was enjoying my last few days of sleeping in before the school year begins (I don't ask for much, people!) Sydney gets upset when she wakes up after Jon has already left. Jon works out in the mornings before going to work and sometimes Sydney wakes up before he leaves and they have a few minutes of QT before he takes off. That usually involves Jon playing with her, giving her breakfast and then setting her up to watch a movie so that Sophie and I can sleep in a little bit longer... and I love him for that. But not this morning. Apparently she had just missed him and watched him drive off from the front window, so I spent the first half-hour or so of my day trying to console my frantic 3-year old... waaaaaaaah!

Just to give you a glimpse of Sydney's personality... if you follow me on twitter you have already seen this, but for the rest of you who don't I thought it was worth repeating. This was her a couple of days ago:

Me: Sydney, could you please pick up your dirty dishes.
Sydney: Sorry, we're closed!

She's 3, people, threeeeee! Yup!

But aside from my rude awakening, the rest of my day promises to be just as frantic as the first few minutes. My 2nd strike-offs (a.k.a. restrikes) arrive today. And just like last time, I have a tracking number from Kathy Miller but I promised myself I would not stand like a dork by my door pacing for these all day. Maybe any other day would've been OK, but not today. And that doesn't mean I'm not excited about them. I am. Not like my loss of all bodily functions that occurred last time but still very excited! Can't wait to see the new & improved ANDALUCIA (the way I intended it)... I promise to share some pictures. :)

It just so happens that today I have a frantic day scheduled. Yep, I somehow managed to leave all things for the last minute and now it's all piled up. I have to turn in Sydney's pre-school registration papers as soon as the school opens (which should be in a few minutes) together with a check so large that my hand actually shook as I wrote it. Gulp! Then I have to drive across town to turn in my Gym registration papers because my Free trial membership is just about over and I don't want to go a day without working out. Only 7 days left till the wedding... I can't slack off now! And then I have to drive to the other side of town to register Sophie for the next session of swim lessons which starts in just a couple of days.

Then I have to meet a refrigerator repair man back at the house sometime between noon and 3. Don't you just love that? Jon tried replacing our water filter and just in the motion of him pulling the old one out and inserting the new one, it just decided to stop working altogether. Lovely!

I'm hoping the restrikes will arrive sometime between noon and 3 also so I can actually kill 2 birds with one stone, because at some point today I also need to take Sophie school supply shopping. Yah, loads of fun!

But before I leave you I did want to mention some awesome resells I spotted on eBay. If you have or know a little princess who wears 18M, 2T or 3T clothes and is in dire need of some adorable, pre-loved MODKIDs, don't miss these great deals offered by some customers of mine.


Off to start my day. Hope your Friday is less frantic than mine.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I feel good

Whoa-oa-oa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now

So good, so good...


OK, so what's with the James Brown reference? I just wanted to jump in here and proclaim to the world that ever since I've been working out regularly and eating better I feel like a million bucks! No more tired episodes for me.

So, what have I been doing, you ask? Well, aside from stretching, doing some light weights and running on the treadmill every day, I have cut sugars completely out of my diet and I can't believe what a change it's made! As I have mentioned before, cutting carbs was completely out of the question for me (I'm Hispanic. I'm pretty sure I'd be disowned!). But I've been satisfying my carbs craving by eating whole grain table crackers & such. I figured that's better than reaching for a half-baguette like I used to, right? eeek!

no-sugar-diet

But back to the sugars, I knew this would be hard for me, being the sweets freak that I am, but something had to give and this was it! I read a few articles on the internet, like this one, to help me out with my choices. My first move was to stop drinking Coca-Cola altogether. I did this way back... probably 8 months or so (I think the last Coke I drank was around X-Mas time). Then I gave up coffee drinks... no more spontaneous trips to Starbucks for my Iced Mocha fix. That was really hard! I switched to drinking unsweetened, unflavored iced tea just to get my caffeine fix while I went through the painful withdrawals. But now, I don't even drink the tea anymore... I just drink water with lemon all day! :)

Next up was to give up desserts. I don't keep sweets in the house anymore... well except for the good kind: fruits! This is how the girls and I satisfy our sweet tooth. And let me tell ya that we don't even miss the ice cream sandwiches or Oreo cookies. A cup of mixed berries or a scrumptious fresh mango are just as satisfying!

So, I thought this would be a great segue to a Cook It. Blog It! segment. I'll share with you my typical meals. I went to the World Gourmet Foods and stocked up on some yummies: I found this "all natural whole grain crispbread" from Norway. They are like large crackers but chock-full of good stuff and they totally satisfy my craving for bread. I also got some Raw Natural Almond Butter (don't even get me started on how much better this is, in every way, than peanut butter!), and some organic Blueberry Honey. Don't you just love it when the ingredients panel only lists 1 thing? Almond Butter's ingredients: raw unblanched almonds. Blueberry Honey's ingredients: blueberry blossom honey. No preservatives, no added sugars or salts or oils. Just plain goodness.

world-foods-market

So, for breakfast we've been eating a Kavli cracker, with about a teaspoon of Almond Butter and just barely drizzled with the Blueberry Honey (just for a dash of natural sweetness). I eat mine without the honey, but the girls like it with.

almondbutter&honey

For lunch I got creative with some phillo dough cups. I filled them with albacore white tuna and topped them with fresh cubed tomatoes and a sprig of fresh cilantro. I mixed my tuna with just a dash of mustard and a dash of fat-free Italian dressing (no mayo!) Oh, and of course, I squeezed some fresh lemon on top.

tunacups1

I love this close-up:

tunacups2

The girls (and I) devoured them!

girls-eating-tunacups

For our mid-afternoon snack we had a fresh mango... my favorite fruit. Sorry, we ate it all up before I remembered to take a picture. LOL!

And for dinner I kinda cheated a little but I figured I deserved to treat myself after being so good all day. I decided to try making this Tortilla Española (kinda like a Spanish Frittata) recipe that I found over on this blog from the Cook It. Blog It! blogroll. I used only Olive Oil, which is actually good for you (MUFA), so I didn't feel too guilty. ;)

Again, it was consumed before I remembered to take pictures, so I borrowed this photo off the Home & Cooking blog (mine looked exactly like this!):


OK, so switching gears a little (well, maybe a lot! LOL!) I just wanted to let you know that I listed 2 large lots of my Baby Gassy Gooma modeling samples last night. As some of you might know, Sydney has been a BGG model for the past 2 years, so from time to time I offer her modeling samples up for sale. Her contract is now over, so I won't be offering these anymore.

These lots are PRICED TO MOVE at waaaaay below wholesale value, so whether you are buying these for your little girl to wear or for resale, you will be getting an amazing deal!!

First off, we have a LARGE LOT of 8 pieces sized 2T from their adorable SPOT & KITTY Line (click the photo or HERE to visit the auction!)



Then we have another LARGE LOT of 8 pieces sized 3T from their beautiful YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS collection. (click the photo or HERE to visit the auction!)



Check out Baby Gassy Gooma's website at http://babygassygooma.com/id110.html for more information on these clothes or to double check retail values and availability!

I also have several items from their upcoming Fall/Winter 2008 Collections but I am not supposed to sell them on eBay until after they have hit the stores, so if anyone is interested please email me and we can "talk." ;) LOL!!

OK, so that is it for this lazy Tuesday afternoon! Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that as part of my "I Feel Good" movement, I decided to refresh my blog graphics. I gave them a bit of a Fall/Winter twist, since it's been in the 70's outside here... a very welcome change. Ya like? I think I might mess with the sidebar graphics a bit but other than that, I like. ;)

P.S. Sorry for the super long post. I guess I'm feeling chatty today. Thanks for visiting!