Monthly Archives: March 2011

Shake it up

So I started this detox/cleanse program which you get to hear all about for the next month! If you know me then you know it is obviously not for weight loss. I have a family medical history that is pretty intense (heart disease/high blood pressure, breast cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, gallbladder inflammation, arthritis, and tendinitis). What’s actually scarier than that is that I don’t have a very big family so this is all between my parents, my two related grandparents, my two uncles and one aunt. Taking this into consideration I don’t think it’s too soon to start eating a little (or a lot) healthier.

Without going into the whole explanation let me just sum up that the diet is gluten-free, dairy-free and low sugar. Here’s a pretty good shake I made last night (you get a snack after you workout so that was my motivation last night). This shake is a work in progress, hence the ambiguous measurements, but you get the idea.

Strawberry Chocolate Almond Milk Shake

(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Low sugar)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Handful of frozen strawberries (pays off if you have big hands)

1-2 tablespoons almond butter

1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Stevia to taste

Directions: uh blend everything together … pretty simple


strawberry chocolate almond milkshake

Yeah the Ninja Master Prep is totally awesome!

I have to admit that Stevia is not my favorite sweetener. I would probably prefer brown rice syrup but I haven’t determined if that is on the okay list.

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Filed under Health

And away we sew … wait not so fast!

I thought it would be simple. I imagined I would buy my first sewing machine and hem all of the dresses and pants piling up in my “fix it” rubbermaid, sew a collection of clothing for a local fashion show (and then almost immediately be selected as a contestant on Project Runway) and sew multiple Halloween costumes and crafty monster pillows for my unborn children.

My sewing machine

Please don't ask me why I'm sewing a piece of paper.

The first project I attempted out of sheer (literally) necessity was an emergency projection screen made out of a silky, synthetic white fabric. Yes I was asked 2 hours before a music event to produce a screen for visuals. Having little sewing experience, a million other things to do and two cups of coffee of course I responded – “Oh yeah, let me whip that right up for you!” Two hours later, I had created something like a screen. The edges were pretty puckered and uneven but somehow it did the trick. Task completed. Grade D+.

Some months later after becoming very bored with any fashion that was remotely affordable but completely obsessed with many things I could never afford – I decided to take some sewing classes. I had unsuccessfully attempted this previously at SacCity and while a comprehensive class and low price would have been a plus, the months of lost Saturdays and the lack of any available spaces in the class or wait list was a big minus.

Now let me get to the point after several paragraphs of rambling. I decided to sign up for two classes at Meissner (machine basics and an introduction to sewing). This month I attended the machine basics class and WOAH what an eye opener. It becomes very apparent I am a beginner sewer (see definition below). A couple of topics that were covered.

Thread and Needle Types – Particle physicists couldn’t memorize the lengthy list of combinations of needles and threads that should go with different fabrics. The fabric type and weight affects both the needle and thread choice. For example, a knit fabric often requires a ballpoint tip which is rounded and separates the fabric threads rather then trying to punch through it. You can’t see the difference between a ballpoint tip and a regular point needle and so naturally the conspiracy theorist in me suspects that someone at Singer just wants me to buy lots of needles. The know-it-all sewer (see definition below) swears she can tell the difference between the two.

Threading machine and winding bobbin – Well this is the one thing I knew how to do. It was not as easy for the completely forlorn sewer (see definition below).

Adjusting Tension – My machine is pretty new so I’m really glad that the tension on it was okay. They checked all of the machines which was nice and gave us little diagrams about what to do if it becomes too tight or too loose. Before that class I was pretty sure I knew what tension was – the feeling that you get when you see your best friend’s scumbag ex at a supermarket/bar/anywhere and he tries to spark up a conversation with you. Well I guess tension has multiple definitions and one of them has something to do with thread.

Cleaning and Oiling the Bobbin Area – Apparently lots of little bits of fabric and thread accumulate in the bobbin area so you have to clean it out which usually requires a screw. There is also a wick down in there somewhere. Basically after cleaning out the bobbin area find something that you would want to pick at – that’s the wick and don’t touch it! Oiling the wick is tricky business so refer to a manual/expert on the matter. While my house, closet and life are a complete disaster I would like to report that my bobbin area is immaculate.


Hey this thing comes off??

But now if you are still reading and not tired of me, the most fun part of any sewing class will likely be the number of personalities which make up the class.

The beginner (AKA me) – This person is almost completely inept but has a desire to learn (and listen!) and is a pretty quick study.

The know-it-all – This person has been sewing for DECADES. Their outfit? Yeah THEY MADE IT. This is their 15th machine and it is BIGGER AND MORE AWESOME than any sewing machine you’ll ever own. In fact, it’s bigger than a desktop computer (because THERE IS LITERALLY a desktop computer inside the machine). The only reason this person is at the class is too inform you of how they do everything differently from the instructor. This person generally lacks the ability to listen and will completely annoy you for most of the class. HOWEVER, at some point near the end of the class, when you realize your instructor has pretty much spent the whole time holding the hand of a completely forlorn sewer (see below), the know-it-all will help you unjam your machine and you will develop some level of respect for them. You end up joining their sewing listserv/facebookgroup/meet-up so that someday you can be a know-it-all too.

The man – The man is the token male member of the sewing class. He makes you feel better about yourself because otherwise you would feel like the youngest member at a meeting of the Red Hat Society.

The completely forlorn – You aren’t sure how this person actually got up in the morning, dressed themselves and made it to the class. They require reassurance for everything. They ask dumb questions like Is this my sewing machine? It’s hard not to spend the entire class in your own sarcastic monologue with this person. In your head you are thinking “YES – that’s your sewing machine. I literally know nothing about sewing but I know that is your sewing machine and that’s your thread – oh yep and that’s your needle.” This person couldn’t thread a machine if their life depended on it and so we hope for their sake that situation never arises.

Well hope you enjoyed! More adventures and beginner knowledge to come in a week and a half when my intro to sewing class starts.


Filed under Sewing

An Outfit Post … Finally!

The blog has taken a backseat to other endeavors but today I was really proud of my mostly thrift/vintage work outfit so I am sharing it with you. I know you will be jealous about how much some of these pieces actually cost.

the whole thing

  • Ann Taylor Cardigan – $8 from Thrift Town
  • Vintage knit skirt – $1 from Crimson and Clover (yes I found it in the $1 bin!)
  • Vintage necklace – About $8, I forget the exact details of purchase several years ago but it’s still one of my favorites. It reminds me of grandma’s white metal furniture in the garden.
  • The shoes are from a boutique in Santa Cruz and they are not thrifted. I have a really hard time finding thrift/vintage shoes that fit well and stay together but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop looking.

a little detail

Hope you enjoy and don’t shop too hard or this will happen:

putting a chaise in the dressing room is asking for trouble

From the Late Night Desk of Wade and Associates


Filed under Fashion, Jewelry, Styling, Vintage