Saturday, July 04, 2015

June Photo-a-Day Wrap-up

Hey, remember how I was doing that Photo-a-day thing? Well, June turned out to be CRAZY. I interviewed for a job, went on vacation, was offered the job, accepted and started the process of moving. It's been insane, but I did manage to take a few pictures. I didn't even come close to keeping up with the Photo-a-day thing, though.

June 8 : Sadness

June 9 : Disgust

June 10 - 15 : No pictures. I sort of hated the prompts the week of the 8th. I gave it a go the first couple days, but I just was not inspired. Then I was packing for vacation and getting ready for my interview, and it just sort of slipped my mind.

June 16 : Anything

June 17 : Lunchtime

June 18 : Local

June 19 : 9 o'clock

Last night in New Orleans, playing Heads Up with my sister in a bar. #nolavacation15 #9oclock #fmsphotoaday

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on

Aaaaand... that's it for June. Not my best month, obviously. But I'm doing pretty good in July so far. I've only skipped 1 day! Let's ignore the fact that it's only July 4th, so technically I've already skipped 1/4 of the prompts.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

June Photo-a-day, Week 1

I just got the new iPhone and I thought the perfect excuse to play around with the awesome camera was to do another month of Photo-a-day. I've got some fun stuff planned this month, so hopefully I'll be able to get some good, fun photos that aren't of my cat.

June 1 : Many

Working on the backstitching for my aunt's Lucy ornament. So #many stitches. #crossstitch #fmsphotoaday

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on

June 2 : Looking Up

June 3 : Silly

Weirdos. #fmsphotoaday #silly #tuxedocat #catsofinstagram

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on

June 4 : Starts with B

June 5 : Looking Down

Looking for a little luck. #lookingdown #fmsphotoaday #littlemomentsapp

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on

June 6 : Who I am

June 7 : Forgotten

Sunday, May 03, 2015

April 2015 Photo-a-day Roundup

Since I did it last year, I thought I'd do the Photo-a-day challenge for April again. Well, this April was probably not the best month to try a challenge like this. There was just too much going on. The month started with Hell Week and ended with a death in the family, with my 30th birthday and 8 performances in between. FMS has also moved to a weekly format, which I don't like nearly as much as the monthly challenges. I missed a bunch of days, but here's what I have:

April 1 | Lunch


April 2 | Building


April 3 | This is good

April 4 | I stood here

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on
April 5 | Egg

April 6 | A Shape
April 7 | Beauty
April 8 | Breakfast

April 9 | Inspired


April 10 | Dark


April 11 | This smells so good

April 12 | Something Green

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on

April 13 | Paper

April 14 | Up

April 15 | Dinner


April 16 | Where I work

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on
April 17 | An Ordinary Moment


April 18 | Fluffy

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on
April 19 | Together

April 20 | This happened

April 21 | Season

April 22 | Mess

April 23 | Snack

A photo posted by Miranda C. (@mirandom03) on
April 24 | Fill the Frame

April 25 | I sat here


April 26 | 4 o'clock

April 27 | In my bedroom

April 28 | Prepare

April 29 | I walked here


April 30 | Need


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Refashioning my Wardrobe

Yesterday I said to stay tuned for more refashioning news. I thought I wouldn't get around to blogging again for a few days, but now I have a few hours to kill before I have to leave for rehearsal* and I'm trying to avoid doing housework. So here I am, blogging two days in a row. Like a madwoman!

So here's the deal: Over the last year, I've gained some weight. I've always been super duper skinny, so this weight gain has not been a bad thing. I feel better about my body now and it's easier for me to find grown-up clothes to fit me in stores. I'm not sure why I've suddenly been able to gain weight when it was always a struggle in the past, but I think it's partly just getting older and losing that youthful metabolism. I also had a serious intestinal infection at the end of 2013 that caused me to lose a lot of weight (I got to under 100 lbs for the first time since middle school, it was horrifying). Once I got over that infection I got to work putting on the weight I lost and ended up putting on an extra 10-15 lbs over what I lost.

So while I'm not unhappy with the shape of my body, I am irritated that so many of my clothes no longer fit. I had a recent panic the morning of the 17th realizing that I didn't have anything that was clean, green, work appropriate, AND fit me. St. Patrick's Day sneaks up on me every damn year. I finally just wore a dress that is definitely too small, but with a blazer over it and thick fleece-lined tights underneath it was passable for work. It's a good thing the over-layer of this dress is so poofy that it hid the fact that it was too small, but the built-in slip was tiny and riding up all day, and it was really tight around my arms.

That is not where the elastic waist is supposed to hit.
And ignore my goofy face, this pic was intended for my mom.

I'm going to have to go through my closet and try everything on. I'm not really looking forward to it, because I love my clothes. And the bigger issue- I don't know how I'm going to replace everything I get rid of. Now, I know that I have WAY TOO MANY clothes so I could definitely do with culling the herd (so to speak), but I'm still going to have to have something to wear. I'm guessing roughly half of my closet isn't going to fit. I can't keep wearing the same 3 pairs of pants and handful of tops to work.

But I'm not sure if my weight has plateaued yet, and I'm still living on a small-town librarian's salary. I don't want to spend tons of money on a new wardrobe, especially if it's not going to fit me in a year. I am willing to put out the money for a new business suit to wear for potential job interviews, but what about day dresses or new blouses? I've decided to take a page from the ReFashionista's playbook. I'm going to hit up garage sales and Goodwills, looking for those articles of clothing that may be way too big or way too old-fashioned, but that are made from fun fabrics or have hidden potential. If she can do it, I can do it. I was on the fence about giving this project a try, but then I watched a talk Jillian gave about refashioning. During the talk she said something along the line of "What are you afraid of? That you're going to ruin an ugly $1 thrift store dress?" She was exactly right, I had avoided refashioning in the past because I was worried I would screw it up. That was when I got the urge to finally fix those embroidered jeans, since I figured the worst that would happen was that I would end up with a pair of jeans I couldn't wear. Since they were already a pair of jeans I wouldn't wear, I really had nothing to lose. And they turned out great! I can't wait to give this project a try.

But of course, I am going to wait, because I'm currently starring in a play* and I just don't think I'll have the time to dedicate to thrift-store perusing and clothes refashioning for a few weeks yet.

*If you're in the Chicagoland area in April, come see Made of Stars at Bolingbrook's Theater-on-the-Hill. Abby, this is a hint. Coooommme tooooooo Chiiiiiiicaaaagoooo foooor myyyyy plaaaaay...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2003 called, they want their flared jeans back.

Well, I'm sorry 2003, but I'm keeping these jeans. I tried my hand at a little ReFashionista-ing today, and I'm really pleased with the results.

The Before

I've had these jeans for years. I can't remember for sure when I got them, but it was definitely late high school, early college. So sometime between 2002 and 2005. Which explains the flare.

Why do I have 10+ year old jeans in my closet? I have reasons.

First of all, they're still in really good shape, mostly due to the fact that they haven't been worn that much. They were a little big on me for a long time (more on that later), and the embroidery made them more difficult to pair with tops than other jeans. So while my other jeans were worn to threads, these have been "gently used."

Another reason they're in such good shape is that the denim is really sturdy. Most jeans I see in stores now are such thin material that I don't feel like they would hold up for very long. These jeans are made from really nice, thick denim. Every time I went to clean out my closet I always kept these because I thought it was such a shame to get rid of good denim.

And it's a good thing I kept these jeans hanging around, because as I approach 30, my ass just keeps getting bigger. I wear these jeans now and wonder just how freaking baggy they used to look on me. Why didn't anyone tell me?!? So with my expanding size, I'm down to just a handful of jeans in my closet. And yet I still hardly wore these because of how flared they were. Every time I put them on I thought "God these are so flared" and then put them back in the closet.

Taking some inspiration from the ReFashionista and Pinterest, I decided to do something about those flares. [Sorry, I didn't take any pictures during the refashioning process. Use your imagination] I turned these jeans inside out and ironed the inside seams flat. I laid these jeans flat on the floor and laid another pair of jeans that were the right shape on top. This gave me a guide as I pinned. Most tutorials on Pinterest show the seamstress taking the pants in from the outside seam, but because of the embroidery on these jeans, that wasn't really an option. But since the inner seams on these jeans weren't top-stitched it didn't really matter. After I had each leg pinned I quickly tried the jeans on again (inside out) so I was sure they fit right. Then I just ran the jeans through my sewing machine, trimmed off the excess, and voila! New straight-legged jeans!

Now, I probably could have taken them in a little more. I could have gone for more of a skinny-jean look rather than straight-legged. But these already feel so much more modern that I'm happy with the transition. In fact, I'm wearing them right now, getting ready for a Froyo date with my cousin Morgan. I love that I was able to give new life to something that has just been taking up space in my closet for way too long. 

Stay tuned for more refashioning news!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Let's get soapy.

No, not the bathtub kind of soapy. The daytime serial kind of soapy.

So, I've been watching General Hospital regularly again these last few months, and I'm getting really frustrated with it. I'm sick of long-standing characters being sidelined in favor of recently added characters. I shit you not when I tell you that all they had Lulu do one episode was watch TV and fold laundry. Are you FUCKING kidding me? This is Lulu Spencer! Daughter of the super-couple Luke and Laura. Lulu was my favorite character, back when she used to do fun things like tricking her step-brother into sleeping with her and getting pregnant and choosing an abortion against the Quartermains' wishes (yes, I know this story line was like 8 years ago, and no I'm not over it. It was the best). I don't mind the new actress playing Lulu, even though I was a huge Julie Marie Berman fan. I just really hate the way the writing on the show has treated this character. She has become so boring since becoming a wife and mother. Does she even have a job any more? Or is she just a stay-at-home-mom? Not that there's anything wrong with SAHMs in real life, but it doesn't leave many opportunities for drama to happen in soap-world. Happily married doesn't make for great TV. I haven't watched this week's episodes yet (I like to save them up on the DVR for a Saturday morning marathon), but last week it looked like there might actually be something interesting happening in Lulu's life. We'll see how that works out. But even if they start writing Lulu better (or just write better in general...), there's also the fact that I hate every inch of the Port Charles mafia and Sonny Corinthos, neither of which is leaving GH any time soon. I can't even discuss it, because I fast-forward through those stories every time.

So, because of my frustrations with General Hospital, I'm trying to find another soap. I'm a big fan of the genre and I don't want to abandon it entirely. Unfortunately, the soaps I was raised on, All My Children and One Life to Live, were cancelled a couple years ago. I'm still upset about AMC. I tried watching the online reboot but it just wasn't the same. But since I can't turn to my old stand-bys, I'm in the awkward position of starting a soap from scratch. Thank god for Wikipedia, I don't know how I'd even begin trying to sort out characters and histories without it. Well, I mean, I'd catch on eventually, because there's nothing soap opera characters love more than reminding each other how they're related and what the story line is (drink every time Maxie or Lulu says "you're my best friend!" or talk about being held hostage together). I'm watching today's episode of The Young and the Restless right now on some channel called POP, and it seems pretty good so far. I mean, I guess it's been the #1 soap for 25ish years for a reason. I don't really know who the characters are yet, but some blonde lady just got kissed by a dude who is not her fiance (her fiance is played by Steve Burton (formerly of GH) and he is currently in the hospital after being mugged) and then slapped him and ran out... so I'm saying it's pretty good so far.

Anyway, I have all four daytime soaps set to record for tomorrow. I'll watch them this weekend and see if any strike a nerve with me. I'll probably end up recording all 4 next week as well, just to get a better feel for storylines and characters. If anyone stumbles across this post via the all-powerful Google, let me know what your favorite daytime soap is and why.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015: So far, so good.

Remember back when I was doing 2 new recipes a month? And I did basically the most simple crock pot recipes ever? I have a small, 2 quart crock pot, and every single crock pot recipe is written with a 4-6 qt crock pot in mind. If there is a recipe written for a small crock pot, it's an appetizer or something lame like soup or pasta sauce. Sure, you can cut recipes in half to fit the small crock pot, but that doesn't always work with the ingredient list. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do with half a can of cream of chicken soup?

Then I stumbled across this blog post via pinterest, and it was like a light bulb went off. DUH. You can totally cut almost *any* crock pot recipe in half, by literally dividing the ingredients in half, between two freezer bags. Then you throw them in the freezer. On the day you want to make that meal, just toss the frozen chunk in the slow cooker and let it do its thing. I've already tried one recipe via this method and it turned out really good. I just mixed up a couple more recipes so I have a total of 5 crock pot meals in my freezer right now.

The recipe I've already tried was the ranch pork chops from the link above. Today I mixed up a variation on the smothered pork chops from the link (instead of cream of chicken, I used garlic cream of mushroom because tell me that doesn't sound awesome), and I also mixed up this Chicken "Pot Pie" recipe. I'll let you know how it works out. I like the ability to come home to a warm, home cooked meal without having to actually cook all day. Because I'm a single person, with a job, and it's winter, and I'm lazy. I spent less than an hour on prep work today and I now have 4 dinners ready to go.

Here's a shot of my ranch pork chops when I made them last week.

And I'm off to a roaring start on my reading goal for the year. 2.5 books out of 52! As Goodreads says, I'm one book ahead of schedule!