Some Pouches and a Dress

Little e begged me to make their basketball team snack pouches just like the ones we made for her soccer team  but I was just not up for it.  It takes a lot of motivation to make 8 pouches, especially just one week in advance of the game.  But, little e is so persistent and she wore me down.  Plus, she promised that she would help and do half of the work for me so I agreed.

She did keep her end of the bargain and did most of the sewing, serging, and cleaning up of the threads while I handled the cutting, ironing, the embroidering.  We inserted the ribbon pulls together while watching Shark Tank.  =)

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In the end, I was happy that we worked on this project together.  It was fun to spend an afternoon with little e, I got to clear up my fabric stash a bit (finished all of this chevron fabric that was originally meant for a crib skirt for little c’s crib – he has been out of a crib for over 2 years… that was a project that never happened), AND little e got to get more practice sewing straight lines.

She was so excited to hand out the pouches after the game and the girls loved it… well worth the 2-3 hours it took to put these together.  I’m loving our embroidery machine, by the way.   It’s more than paid for itself (~$220).

Little e has also just completed a summer dress, finishing off the last bit of fabric she picked out from Hawaii as a souvenir last summer.  She used the same pattern that I had made for her other Hawaiian dress but she didn’t like the dress bottom so just made a simple shirred skirt attachment.

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I think it looks lovely and am so proud whenever she makes anything.  I’m just waiting for her to be good enough to go on project runway junior.  =)

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Salt Lake City, Utah

We are a family that just loves to travel.  While we were planning to have a low key, relaxing winter break at home to catch up on sleep and re-organize the garage, next thing you know, E and I start randomly talking about taking the kids snowboarding.  First, we were thinking Vail and Whistler, and then settled on Park City, UT.  Literally, we planned the trip the day before and next thing you know, we were in Salt Lake City, UT.

Since the kids have never snowboarded, we opted to take them to Brighton as they are well known for their ski/snowboarding school, and it was much more affordable than the ones in Park City.

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Brighton was the perfect choice.  The snowboarding instructors were great with kids and little e was able to go down the green slopes after the lesson.  Little c had to opt out of snowboard lessons due to altitude sickness which was such a scary situation.  He literally blacked out when he got out of the car and fell over on the ground flat on his back. Thankfully there was snow underneath and he had on two hats that protected his head.   Then, he was became lethargic and could barely keep his eyes open so I took him straight to the clinic.

This is where I was so impressed.  They had a pediatrician on site!  He was administered oxygen and after about an hour or so, was back to normal.  We still decided to forgo lessons but he had a great time playing in the snow.  The staff reassured us that if his symptoms returned, we could call the ski patrol and they would come to us within 2 minutes and can get him quickly down the mountain if needed.  That was reassuring and allowed us to be at peace while enjoying the snow.  Look how beautiful it was!

Now for some good food places to share.  Whenever I go anywhere, I usually go on the Design Sponge website and GOOP to check out things to see and eat.  Eva was a place recommended by Design Sponge and turned out to be a fun place to eat.  I like small plates and the opportunity to try many different things.  Overall the food was good, though I have to say, nothing really AMAZED us except for the bread which I’ll get into later.

Little e ordered the charcuterie board due to her love of salami and cheese and it was ok. The sliced brussel sprouts were tart and pretty delicious as vegetables come.  In the bowl is a Korean fusion ramen type dish with kalbi.  I have to say that this was not satisfying.  You can’t do small dish noodle soup.  Maybe because we are spoiled with really good Korean food that we just could not get into a fusion version of it, where the broth didn’t quite taste authentic, and the kalbi didn’t seem quite right in a soup base, and I just wanted more noodles.  But apparently, this soup base was award-winning.

 

The waitress highly recommended their pizzas, which I felt tasted ok, and not as good as what I would get at Blaze.  The dish on the upper left was a smoked salmon on top of latkas which was a special that night.  That was very yummy and the salad on top added a nice touch.  We also got their mac and cheese, which was a bit too fancy for the kids.  The description was, “baked greek mac and cheese: three-cheese macaroni, wrapped in phyllo, topped with a PLT salad.”   The greek flavors did seem a bit off for mac and cheese but it was interesting to try.  Lastly, we got eva’s bakery bread with their house butter.  That was so amazing and by far the best dish we had.  I know, it’s just bread.  But it came out hot, with the outside perfectly crispy and the inside soft and warm, with a delicious herb butter.  We were so stuffed already but still ate it.  Little e loves bread and butter so she could probably eat this every day.  Overall, a decent place.

We stayed at the Marriott in City Center and it turned out to be the perfect choice.  The rooms were ok, not amazing, but comfortable but the location was wonderful.  It was about a 20-30 minute drive to Brighton or Park City, and walking distance to a lot of good restaurants including Eva and The Copper Onion  .  The Copper Onion was so busy that we were never able to get reservations before 9PM which was way too late for the kids to eat.  Because of proximity, E just went and picked up to go.  This is the beef stroganoff which was delicious.  The pasta was cooked perfectly and the beef tender and flavorful.  and, this is taken to go.  I got their roasted chicken and it was amazing.  I don’t even like roast chicken that much, but this chicken was so good, I inhaled it, which is why there is no picture to show.  img_4368

The kids had no interest in this “fancy” food so we got them nuggets at the Carl’s Junior next door.  All were happy.  But I do wish we were able to eat there because if it’s already so good to go, it must be amazing eaten there.  We are already planning a trip back with a group of friends for next winter.

Another perk of the Marriott was that it had an indoor heated pool and an outdoor ice rink so the kids had a fun packed day.  Morning was snowboarding, afternoon some vintage shopping for me (scored flower vase below) and early evening, indoor swimming, and late night, outdoor ice skating under beautiful Christmas lights.  Perfection.

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Next, a day trip to Park City was fun for some shopping and food.  We were craving ramen in the cold weather so we went to Sushi Blue.  Now, this is probably the most over-priced ramen we have ever eaten at $16 per bowl.  This is a half bowl, because they split two bowls for us so that we can each have our own and try other stuff (with $2 split fee).  It did hit the spot, though.  Nothing like good ramen on a cold day.  That seared pork belly was excellent!

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Other items were ok.  Nothing to write home about and way too expensive but sometimes, you want what you want.

 

On the way home, we stopped by Tulie Bakery which was really popular and quite busy.

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They had simple sandwiches with the star really being the bread.

 

I personally wouldn’t come back for breakfast.  The deserts we took to go were better than the savory sandwiches but an overall decent place with hipster decor

 

 

So that was Salt Lake City in the winter for us.  We plan to be back to visit the canyons and see it when everything is green and lush.  Certainly much more food places to try.

 

 

 

 

Button Down Shirt

Finally I made something for little c.  He was wondering why I never made anything for him and I started feeling bad.  Honestly, I didn’t have any interest making boys/men’s clothing.  It just seems boring.  But, since he asked, I thought I’d make him a simple, short sleeve button down shirt.  So, shirts aren’t quite so simple, though it wasn’t very difficult either.  There are just a lot of steps and parts to put together as well as a lot of edge stitching for decorative lines.

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I’m quite proud of the results as (to me at least) it looks like a professionally finished piece on the inside and out, thanks to the yolk on the inside, and my serger.  The fabric my sister picked up from Tokyo and is perfect for button down shirts.

Little c wore it to his Christmas Play.  He’s such a goofball these days and loves to be in front of the camera.  It fits him perfectly so I’m having him wear it with long sleeve shirts underneath before he outgrows them in the summer.

I can’t seem to get one good picture of him smiling normally!

I was just telling my friend that I love sewing because it’s so satisfying to have a finished product that is useful.  But even beyond that, I love the process itself as it allows me to focus all of my attention, my mind and my hands, on a task… very stress relieving, as long as I’m not rushed to finish a project for any kind of deadline (like Christmas presents.)

E wants me to make a matching shirt for him and little c, and my dad wants me to make him a jacket.  It’s off to fabric shopping for me during Christmas break.

Altered Boho Dress

I bought this dress probably 8 years ago at a sample sale for $10.  I liked the dusty rose color, and have always admired how my friend looks in her flow-y long dresses.  However, it just did not look good on me.  I have long legs and a short torso and this dress turned out to be too short on me, the bottom hem hitting around my ankles.  The cut of the arm holes also made my arms looked fat. But somehow it survived multiple rounds of purging, staying in my closet for years and years, worn maybe once or twice, and each time making me feel uncomfortable in it, like I just didn’t look right.

Then, I started sewing lessons with little e, mainly just because I wanted to give her sewing teacher more hours since she had to take the trouble of driving more than 30 minutes to our house.  In the beginning, she suggested that I learn how to alter clothes, taking little e’s old clothing, and altering them to extend their wear.  I immediately thought of my dusty rose boho dress.

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Here it is, altered for little e.  I am so happy with it.  It was easy to do and fits her perfectly. I just took in the shoulder straps, which also reduced the armholes  to just the right size, and then also pulled in the sides under her armpit.  Lastly, I pulled up the dress a little at the waist and that was it.  In these pictures which I just took, the dress is already getting a little short on her as it’s been a year since the alterations, but all I have to do is rip out the seam I sewed around the waist to let down the dress.  It’ll take less than 5 minutes since I’m such a good ripper, now.   =)

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Little e was being a goofball and making weird poses.  Little c was jumping into a lot of the pictures, too, but I finally got a few that I could post.  I’m not sure what she’s doing here but I thought it showed off the bottom of the dress nicely.  It’s flow-y so she can walk around comfortably in it, and a unique dress for a child her age.  She loves it because it’s long and nearly touches the ground, kind of like what a princess would wear.  I love that I was able to find some use for this dress and think this looks lovely on her.  In fact, she wore it for her school pictures last year.

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I believe the bottom of this dress material is double gauze, a material that I’ve been researching the last few days.  It’s basically two layers of gauze sewed together to give it a little bit more structure and is the same type of material made popular by the company aden and anais for their swaddles and burp clothes.  It’s a light weight material that is breathable and soft, perfect for night gowns like the one I made previously for little e.  I originally thought it was called muslin but apparently, in the US, it’s called double gauze.  I found so many pretty ones that now, I’m planning to make a night gown for myself.  Hopefully, I’ll get to that soon.

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For now I should go dig into my pile to donate clothes and see if more can be modified for little e.

Los Angeles Brunch Spot: Poppy + Rose

On Saturdays, my family likes to go to different restaurants for brunch.   A more recent favorite is Poppy + Rose which is located right in the Los Angeles Flower Mart. Parking in the deck of the Flower Mart has never been a problem for us (not difficult to find a space) and is only $4.   With validation at Poppy + Rose, it’s even cheaper, at only $2 for the entire day, I believe. You can’t find parking for that price anywhere in downtown LA.

Besides the delicious brunch food, which we’ll get to in a second, I get to pick up flowers from the Flower Mart, and then walk a quick few blocks over into the Fashion District where I go with little E to pick up fabric, notions, and beads.  It’s a win win for the entire family as E and little c can leisurely finish their brunch while little e and I go do our shopping.  After brunch, E and little c head right outside to the street market where they always buy our favorite Mexican fruit drink, Agua Fresca.  There are many flavors but we get the mango and passion fruit drinks, which are really good, and packed with fresh fruit.  It always tastes surprisingly natural to me when it looks like it could be artificial tasting.

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Now, onto the Poppy + Rose menu.  Our all time favorite is this pulled pork hash on top of a potato patty topped with crème fraîche and two eggs cooked however you like, with some arugula.  This must have been little e’s order because she likes her eggs fried, while E would have liked it with runny eggs, sunny side up.  The pulled pork is BBQ flavored and cooked so that it’s perfectly tender and soft.  That potato patty is probably the best “hash brown” I’ve ever head, with great flavor and a wonderful crunchy exterior.

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E ordered a short rib french dip sandwich off of the lunch menu.  …Very tasty and the meat was nice and juicy.  I usually order the rib tips breakfast burrito  which includes ribs, eggs, cheese, brick hash (same hash that I described above but cut in pieces), crème fraîche, BBQ sauce, and mixed greens.  Having BBQ ribs inside your breakfast burrito is a very nice touch.  I don’t have a picture, though, because I realize I rarely take pictures of my food.  E always likes to take pictures and post them on yelp, so I had to go through his phone to pull out old pictures.  I probably started eating too quickly for him to get a shot.  I’m always starving at meal times.

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Lastly, we ordered steel cut oatmeal for little c.  I wanted to get him something healthier, and he tends to eat better when we can feed him things with a spoon (rather than having him pick up a sandwich, or a burrito).  Unfortunately, he was not a fan.  Nothing special about the oatmeal and the fruit was sour so he didn’t even want that (though he normally loves fruit.)  Oh well.

But otherwise, this is a great place, though the lines get long on the weekend.  However, if you have multiple people in the party, one person can wait while the others shop the flower mart.  There is so much to see!