Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Five—Heatwave Edition

So we’ve wrapped up one of thee hottest weeks I feel that Ohio has ever seen. I mean really, yesterday when I was in the car I looked down and it said, “102 degrees outside.” It was 7:00pm, people. This just shouldn’t happen. I felt like I was back in Micronesia, sweltering under the sun as I climbed the steep crag of Sokeh’s Rock. But really I was just sitting at my desk, covered in sweat, trying to make up some crap about concrete flooring in a half-dead heat daze. Welcome to Northeast Ohio v.2011. So enough with the complaining about the weather, right? We’re going to talk about some positives that I encountered over the week. Because who doesn’t love being one of those glass-half-full types, right?

1. Chris Hemsworth

I feel kind of like a pre-pubescent girl starting this list with something as ridiculous as a cute boy. Truth be told, my on the brink of obsessive mancrush on this, well, man, brings me back to the days of JTT and Leo. That’s right girls of the 90s, let it go and swoon:

I ran across this “hunk” (still using the era’s verbiage) when I caught a $1.50 showing of Thor on Wednesday. The movie was nothing to rave about. The CGI was about as atrocious as that of Green Lantern (see “other sub-par comic movies with gorgeous lead actors”), but the fact that my other major celebrity crush was in it more than made up for it—Natalie Portman, of course. I don’t usually get down on the Arian dudes, but blonde-hair-blue-eyes aside, he’s got a fantastic smile and pretty much made me melt into a big pile of goo all over the popcorn covered floors of Theater 6.

2. Air Conditioning

Unlike the freezer that is the movie theater, my apartment has zero air conditioning. Needless to say, it was a formidable oven. I’ve got two box fans, and a few windows that still have storm windows in them (that the landlord still hasn’t taken care of). I (now) have a working fridge and freezer. I live alone, so that usually warrants me wearing minimal clothes in these working conditions. All that considered, however, I was very happy to be able to escape into the near-winter wonderland of air conditioned locations. Like hotel rooms (when oh hey, power went out in most of Lakewood killing both of those box fans too), restaurants, and the wide world of retail… which brings me to my next one:

3. This Dress

I have something of a love affair with dresses during the summertime. I’m sure the heat didn’t hurt my preference for this particular piece either. Grabbed it at H&M (who knew there was an outdoor mall so close to me?) and can’t wait for the chance to wear it. There were so many I wanted to walk out with… sigh. The retail therapy with a girlfriend was also pretty fantastic—in the A/C, no less.

4. Jeni’s Ice Cream

Ice Cream is particularly delicious in this weather, but holy crazy delicious ice cream, Jeni’s is really where it’s at. For a girl that pretty much panics every time she has to decide between more than one flavor of anything, it was a bit of a nerve wracking experience walking into the little shop (did I mention it was air conditioned?). Thankfully, however, Jeni’s allows you to order in little tiny scoops so you can try a few different things. I decided to limit myself to two after a rather large meal at BD’s Mongolian BBQ—and landed on the Bangkok Peanut and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries. Yes. Those are both ice cream flavors. And yes. They were both amazing. I giggled to myself the entire time, entertained by the fact that I was eating spicy ice cream. It seemed a little oxymoronic, but damn was it good. Highly recommend.

5. Play

No, not a play. Just play. I got the opportunity to run around a park for an hour or so. Running over bridges, climbing up ladders, sliding down slides, doing cartwheels. I’ve learned over the years that being a grown up is a stressful and serious bit of business— and getting the chance to just let go and play is incredibly invigorating and refreshing… even in 90 degree weather. I would suggest you all take a bit of time over the weekend to kick back, relax, and just play. You’ll be amazed at how amazing it feels.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. Stay cool!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feeling the Spirit of Community in Lakewood

So the majority of my Saturday mornings this summer will be spent at the Lakewood Farmers Market, selling delicious hemp baked (and no-bake) goods from Plant Kingdom Bakery. Spending so much time at the market has been a really great experience for me thus far. I’ve gotten the chance to meet a lot of wonderful people from the area, and it’s absolutely fantastic to talk with residents passing through.

Because most of my days are spent pent up in my living room, staring at a computer screen, the sunshine and conversation are certainly welcome changes. The best part, though, is seeing just how community-oriented Lakewood really is. There are so many wonderful programs and organizations in this city. From the LEAF Community to Art Walks; community gardens and urban farms to municipal pools, Lakewood really knows how to pull the neighborhood together and offer its residents wonderful opportunities to embrace collaborative spirit.

I’m hoping to have more great stories to tell about the community this summer, but for now I’ll just leave you with some photos from the market. Sorry for my relative absence as of late. This girl has been awfully busy!

Oh, and don't forget to visit us at the Lakewood Farmers Market! Every Saturday morning from 10:00am-1:00pm :)

[A few of the booths at the Market]

[easily the best coffee in Lakewood]

[Mmm. Delicious hemp goodies]

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cute Tee Shirt Refashioning

So I apologize, sweet world of the internets. I’ve had an incredibly busy last month, and as a result I’ve been playing a hideous game of catch-up as far as my work is concerned. Where have I been, you ask? Well, I’ve been off doing things like fighting terrorism (read: annual two week training for the National Guard), playing music (in public!), and failing to see the sunshine (or the cool breeze of air conditioning… because I don’t have any). Now that I am relatively caught up, I’m updating this blog. Tonight I planned to spend some time watching movies and doing work, and that is still in the cards. I did take a couple of hours, however, to work on a little project I’ve been planning—because I haven’t had time to do so many crafty things as of late, and I love a fab green clothing project… but mostly because I wanted something to wear tomorrow when I go out with the girls.

Here it is:

I of course failed to take a “before” photo, but rest assured that it started out as a men’s plain, size small Aeropostale tee shirt. Solid, no frills. I snagged it at a Goodwill months ago and it’s been waiting a good ole refashioning. I absolutely love the fabric. So comfortable! I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but after several hours on the glorious timesuck that is Pinterest, I found some inspiration and got to work. I really enjoyed playing with the fun, feminine rosettes—as it was my first time ever making or working with them. This shirt was incredibly easy to make and took me all of an hour and a half.

[a closeup of the detailing]

Here are the easy steps that you use to make it. I don’t have step-by-step photos, but I assure you it is not that serious. I didn’t bother measuring a thing.

  1. Cut sleeves off of tee shirt.
  2. Cut across the top in a straight line, roughly two inches from the bottom of the collar of the tee shirt.
  3. I put pleats on the front, mostly because I thought it would give the shirt a bit more form and I thought, “What the hell? Why not?” I don’t think it’s 100% necessary, but if you want to, now is the time to do so.
  4. Sew a tube on the top of both sides, so that you can string through.
  5. I used a few strips from the top portion we cut off, near the collar, to make my straps. I cut three strips, sewed them together, and pulled so that the tee shirt material kind of buckles on itself and forms a tube/strip.
  6. String through both sides.
  7. Tie in a bow.
  8. I created the rosettes with the hem of the sleeves, because it provided a nice finish.
  9. I cut out three little leaves to add a bit more jazz.
  10. Sew that crap on in a way that you think looks nice.
  11. Voila! Cute tank top from a tee shirt.

The great thing about tee shirt fabric is that it doesn’t really unravel… so I kind of skip the hemming process altogether. Mostly because I’m lazy. Sometimes lazy fashion can be good fashion.

Either way, I hope you all have had a wonderful month, and I will leave you with a fantastic photo of me doing my Army thing—because it’s pretty rad. That’s right, this girl can sew and work on helicopters.