Monday, July 11, 2011

Crazy Sewing Lady

So, no I can't tell you WHAT I'm making...but it's a mess here at Meanbean, thread, zippers, scissors....


I will reveal all when I am able :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Face paint

Another makeup post!

I've been playing with some new MAC Pigments I scored from a friend who bought a haul on E-bay. Pigments are definitely different as far as application and control, and I have to be VERY careful when putting them on, so I don't end up with pigment down on the bags under my eyes. They're also highly useful as eyeliner, so I've been practicing my application of that as well. It's getting better!
Last night I wanted to change over to some bright nails, and I ended up with....
Super colorful nails! You can't see it here, but I have Hello Kitty on my thumbs as well :)

Stay tuned...some fun, kinda big news coming soon!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The makeup post

Today's post is kind of a cop-out - just pictures of my makeup and nails lately. I've been having fun with fake eyelashes, nail art and otherwise pretending I'm a carrier of a Frilly Card. I'm pretty sure I'm not (seeing as how anti-frilly I am in most aspects), but I've found lately that PINK of all things really draws me in, and I've been enjoying taking a little extra time with those aspects.

I'm pretty proud of my eye makeup here - I ran out of navy blue liner on my left eye!! I tried for a good 5 minutes of shaking and attempting to apply on my right eye before I finally accepted that my liner had given up on life. Fortunately, I had another blue/green sparkly liner in my stash that was able to make my eyes match. Whew.

That would happen the one time I managed a nearly perfect "wing" with liquid liner too...

This last weekend, the Portland Timbers went up against the Seattle Flounders...I mean Sounders. Matt and I had already booked a trip to the coast, so we weren't able to go up to Seattle for the game, but we wore our colors around the coast and met up with other fans to watch the game at a local bar. The nice thing (aside from the lack of smoke!) about being in a bar is that we could yell and whoop and chant to our heart's content, and the staff was totally fine with it. If you're in Lincoln City, OR - BK Mullagin's (sp?) is a friendly place with good food and great service :) The 6 foot by 12 foot TV doesn't hurt either.

today's nails!! As Matt can attest, they took FOREVER to dry!! My own fault, I used a crap/thin glitter for the tips, so really had to layer it on to make the gradient effect. In the future I'll be using a fuller glitter so I don't have to have 2459827203845 layers and hours of drying ahead of me. I LOVE the end effect though!! They're ridiculously shiny, and really hard to photograph accurately. Just believe me, they're pretty :)

Kiddo is having a blast exploring nail art with me, and we'll be stamping her nails tonight with something! I think I finally have started to figure out how to be a mom to a girly girl...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stampin' away

This last weekend I got my nails filled, and subsequently got inspired to start experimenting now that they look nice again. May I present, my first attempt at nail stamping!
(be warned, it's messy, and now that I've blogged it, I'm taking it off and re-doing them)

Here's slightly better pictures - Pinky, ring and middle are all music scores and piano keys, index is scrolling and flowers, and thumb is dots. I added silver over each of them for a little pizzaz.

I'm going to redo them with some kind of base color under it, and I'll blog that too :) I"m using the Konad set, and Konad polish. The silver is some cheap brand from Walgreens, it's a nail art bottle with a super thin brush. A single top coat was used as well.

Do you experiment with nail art? Please link up in the comments if you do!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Timbers, socks and zebras!

Earlier this week, we were notified that this week was destined to be "softball heaven" - practice Monday, games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday!! Crazy, I say. Normally there's a practice and two games, and that's it. Adding one more in there just made it pretty hardcore for our 8 year old girls, and last night Kiddo hit the wall. It was simply her exhaustion, but dang it exploded out of her!! After she finally fell asleep, I started thinking about the contrast between Tuesday and Wednesday's games, and why I am SO thankful we have the coach we do for Kiddo's team.

This is Kiddo's second year playing softball, and she just loves it. Her coach is the mom of one her friends, and a fabulous woman. She gives so much of her time to her community, organizing fundraisers, helping in the classroom, doing all kinds of stuff. On top of it, she coaches this team and has an older girl, so attends those games too. Coach K, I'll call her, always manages to look amazing and put together, though she doesn't think so, and is so positive with the girls. Tuesday's game took us to play against a newer team, where most of the players were first year and very small. Most of our team played last year, and even our first years have caught on very quickly. Normally this isn't an issue, but it seemed that the coaches for the other team were ALSO new to the game, and didn't even know the rules. This other coach approached Coach K and heatedly started arguing with her, in front of our teams!

It was frustrating as a parent to watch, and I felt helpless seeing Coach K's seemingly infinite patience wear thin. Thankfully, our girls were mostly unaware of the tension, and kicked butt during the entire game. After the game, Coach K got a big hug from me, and we've grabbed little times here and there to chat. She's gradually become a friend of mine over the last couple of years as our kids go to school together, and I've had the opportunity to tell her over and over again that I am so thankful she's our coach.

Coming to Wednesday's game, I had some trepidation that we'd encounter a similar coach. Not the case at all! Playing another young team, but with a very positive coach and no arguing. Amazing. It went very smoothly, we still kicked butt, and the girls went home just bushed. It's so much easier to cheer during the games when you're not restraining yourself from throttling a coach!
Lately I've been thinking about sewing again. It's literally been AGES since I sewed, probably since the completion and delivery of the Woolgirl Sock Club bags. I'm not sure what has happened, most of my crafty bug seems to have vanished, and I miss it. I miss the drive to create, to design, to see if an idea will work. I've had an idea floating in my head for a while, and now that Kiddo is older, I'm thinking she's right in the market I'd like to target. I've talked to her about my idea, she's very enthusiastic about it and sounds like she'll help me with the line. At this point I'm not going to reveal what it is, but we're working on a prototype and hopefully it pans out!
Last night, before the last game of the week, we spent 20 minutes and full on did up Kiddo's nails!

They're a flourescent purple with white tips, and zebra stripes. She showed those nails off to anyone who would stop to look :) She then told her friend B that she'd do that to her nails, and announced that she's going to start her own nail business! B looked at her and said "You're not old enough!" (B is also 8), to which kiddo breezily says "I'm old enough!!" and saunters away. B looked at me, and I just grinned and told her "Kiddo thinks she's old enough for everything!!" B giggled, and they ran off to warm up. I love little girls!!
I have wicked awesome socks that Matt gave me a while back - see?!

Very Alice in Wonderland, yes?
Speaking of lovely things Matt buys me...

Beautiful Mother's Day roses, delivered to me at the office!! I've since draped one of my blingy necklaces around it to make it super girly. One of the boys warned me not to take it to the hood LOL. Because my 10 buck necklace would be a hot item, let me tell you!!
Remember this post, where I showed you the Timbers picture we had taken as a family? Well, they used all the season ticket pictures to make a giant print for a wall in the stadium, and are now selling a poster version!

I know you can't make us out, but we're in the lower right quadrant, sort of near the end of "city". I can't wait to get the poster of this!!
I'll abruptly end this post with an inspiring, summery photo of Kiddo on the swings :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Everyone's talking about it

The royal wedding!! Most of what I've heard had centered on the hats (mostly outrageous, but so are the ones worn at the Kentucky Derby), and Kate's dress (stunning!).

I'm not going to reiterate all that. What I wanted to talk about was the way this couple just GLOWS when they look at each other. I don't follow news at all, I rarely get to watch tv outside of the Disney channel or shows on Netflix, so current events often pass me by unless they're huge.Even these huge ones have to be pretty big to get me to pay attention, and this wedding just piqued my curiosity, since SO MANY people are gushing about it.

I love all the fluff and fun surrounding weddings, so while the details aren't interesting to me, I spent a while paging through pictures of the event on various sites. Something that strikes me in every single picture of Will and Kate is their eyes, the way they look at each other. It's strikingly obvious to me how in love they are. It beams off my computer screen - the smiles on their faces reach their eyes, the body language in how they clasp hands, leaning into each other. It's so heartwarming to see these two so happy on their wedding day, and to see the love shining from their faces.
Look at how he looks at her <3

Even though they're keeping hands to themselves, the leans, the shoulders touching, etc make me think these two have an easy, comfortable relationship

I truly hope it lasts for them, and that they have a long, happy life together.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My 8 year old is PERFECT

When I look at my daughter, I wonder what goes on in her mind. I'm sure most parents wonder the same thing, but parents of girls in particular have extra bits to watch out for. We have to watch out for self-hating talk and behaviors, attitudes that can demean or undermine themselves or other girls, weight issues or perceptions, and more. I ran into this last night, and Matt and I are attacking this issue ASAP so we ensure kiddo continues to have the healthy self-image she's had up until recently.

I'm fairly certain her self-confidence is still strong (she's the most stubborn person I know next to Matt), but I worry. She comes home and tells me that people at school (specifically a certain friend) judges her lunch. She's told that certain things we give her aren't healthy, bad for her, that if she keeps eating them she'll get fat (?!?!?!?!?!?), and more. As a result, we've had to start policing her lunchbox when she comes home, because she'll just not eat food, or throw it away instead of eat things this friend tells her are bad in some form.

A rare picture of kiddo for you:

This precious, active, stubborn, amazing worried about getting FAT. SHE'S EIGHT.
I've tried to teach her balance, that exercise is good, certain foods are essential to be strong and healthy - never ONCE do we say anything about worrying about being fat, that being fat is bad, nothing on these levels at all. Peers are so influential, and it scares me how much sway peers can seemingly have over her. Thankfully, she's also transparently honest with us, and will tell us that someone told her something, so she did this.

Kiddo - "I didn't eat my pretzels because they tasted like deviled eggs."
Me - "OK, but I just tried them, and they just tasted normal to me. I wonder why they tasted off to you..."
Kiddo - " Oh, well (friend) told me that if they taste like deviled eggs that means they're old, so I didn't eat them."

Those pretzels are a) brand new and b) untainted by random deviled egg drive-bys. We talked about this, and explained that if this friend continues to cause kiddo to choose not to eat, we will talk to the school and ensure that they are not to sit together at lunch anymore. I will NOT stand for my daughter to develop eating disorders, much less due to distorted self-image from her peers.

*puts on angry Mama Bear face*

It's rare that I feel the urge to go after anyone, much less give them a piece of my mind. This particular friend of kiddo's just riles me, and while she's an inherently good kid, the fact that she does things like this, along with a very passive-aggressive love/hate friendship with my daughter, makes me have less than friendly feelings for her.

Now that kiddo is entering the pre-puberty time of life, it is VITALLY important that we build her inner strength even stronger, her walls of self-protection higher, and her sense of right and wrong even more clear. Theoretically, it's highly tempting to run off somewhere with her for the next 5 years and insulate her in a bubble of love, acceptance and learning to stand up for yourself without harming others. Realistically, I know that's a terrible idea and wouldn't work in Real Life.

You know, I never really understood what people meant when they said:
being a parent will break your heart
Now, I know, and it is such a deep pain I can't even describe it. This song by Pink encompasses everything I want for kiddo, everything I want for all of us, men and women alike.

WARNING: This video will make you cry. This video made my DAD cry. There's some graphic scenes - probably not appropriate for anyone under 13ish.

**TRIGGER WARNING** There is a self-injury scene.

I would love to hear any tips or suggestions from moms who have gone through this with their daughters, or if you personally have been in my daughter's place and wished someone had done or said X for you - please, please share.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Get me on a plane! Part 3

Read part 1 here and part 2 here

This here is the story of how one shy, gawky teenage girl ended up in a foreign country. She didn't speak the language, didn't have any international travel experience, and was only 14.

My heart pounding, sweating and trembling with anxious excitement and a large dollop of "what if they don't like me?!", I stepped off the plane, gathered my bags and moved with my group to meet my Russian host "sister". I had the initial disappointment of her being unable to come to the airport, and only her father was there. He spoke NO English, and we made our way out to the car in silence, him with a soft smile on his face, and me panicking inside because I can't communicate with this strange man that I'm being sent off with. My group leader assured me that he was a good man, and Olya would be waiting for me when I arrived at the flat (apartment).

Ghena (Olya's father) is very chivalrous, and carried my bags for me, opened the car door for me, etc. As we careened along the long winding roads back into the city (the Minsk airport is on the outskirts of the city...pretty much in what feels like nowhere), I surreptitiously held onto the seat below me for dear life. The front seat had no seat belts, and it felt like we were going about 80 mph!

I felt like this poor kid

After about 20 minutes (or more, my perception was really skewed and I really just didn't want him to realize how badly I was freaking out), we pulled into an apartment row. It's like a complex, but bigger, cement buildings in a row (surprise!) and no main office crap like we have here. The buildings themselves are dreary gray and not exciting looking at all, but hey, they're apartments. The buildings look kind of like this, minus the markets on the bottom floor:

After going in through the secure door at the ground floor, we walked up a few small flights of stairs, and I LOVED what I saw. Each flat (apartment) has a door directly into the stairwell, and everyone has decorated around their dwelling. There's color everywhere, and some people have bright red doors, flowers, flags, etc.

We reach Olya's flat, with a lovely red and gold leather door, and Ghena opens it for me, ushering me in. That door is both a security door and a noise barrier, so there's a tiny (about 4 foot) hallway, then the door to the flat itself. Ghena opened the door, and a GIANT dog that looks like a German Shephard on steroids, jumps up, puts his massive paws on each of my shoulders, and kissed me hello.

An auspicious start to a fabulous turn in my life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Portland Timbers First Home Game

We stood in line for about 1 1/2 hours

We finally get in, and follow the chanting to find our perfect seats

wonderfully remodeled Jeld-Wen stadium and impeccable pitch for the night's game

Timbers Ninja showed up!

The stadium was vibrating with all the noise

Look how full it is!!

Even behind us it's crowded

Just a few minutes before the official opening of the game

Impressive flags!

The Timbers Army sang the National Anthem, and it was BEAUTIFUL

Rockets red glare...!

The crowd goes wild!

Portland takes the field

Waving the flag!

We are pity-less

It was insanity!

We ruled the pitch

Matt is so handsome

Awesome game schedule they gave out at the end

and finally...

What a way to kick off the season!!