Monday, April 30, 2012

Field Tripping

Hi, all!
Things have been busy around here. Friday was the much anticipated kindergarten field trip toooooo.....


I chaperoned my daughter's class. It reminded me why I was a middle school teacher and not an elementary school teacher. God bless 'em. That takes a special kind of person. I'll take smart mouth 13 year olds over 5 year old mania. I'm admittedly insane though.

I did have to bust out the teacher voice a couple times on the bus trip home and separate some kids but overall they did a great job, especially considering how long and hot the day was. My survival was due in large part to having my friend Gabby along as co-chaperone extraordinaire. (Wanna see a cool and crafty blog? This woman can turn trash into treasure and is super artistic and funny! Check her out!)

Legoland also satisfied my uber-geekiness and former history teacher self. 

Star Wars nerds, unite!

Star Wars characters AND they're made out of legos? Awesome levels of geekery here. 

Washington, D.C./The National Mall in Mini-Land

They also had Vegas, NYC, Miami, and the Kennedy Space Center, complete with shuttle launch countdown and effects. We will definitely be going back as a family. It was great for kids of all ages. 

The highlight of the day at the park had to be riding one of the coasters with five of the kids who were screeching about how AWESOME it was, much to the amusement and deafening of other park-goers. 
The highlight of the day overall was coming home and having a beer. :)

In stitchery news, I'm love, love, loving the Medieval Town Mandala. The vines around the arches and one level of the metallic border is now completed. I need to get moving on it though. Once the Paris Mandala arrives this week from Nikki, AK (the awesome aunt we're stitching this for) will have the whip out! :) 

Trust me, the camera quality is poor because the colors are amaaaaaazinnngggg.

May the stitching force be with you,


P.S. Yes, I know how nerdy that was. I just don't care! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sorry to our non-stitchy followers, but this has to be done.

Paris part one is at the halfway point! Woot!!!

Right corner flower was finished this morning

Which means....the top half is DONE!!!!

Enjoy, AK!!!!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mea Culpa

Please to be forgiving! We're finally getting back to normal around these parts. Miss A (the little one) came down with some sort of virus last week. You know the drill...catching the puke, 2a.m temp checks, three year old attached to you like a barnacle...In other words, good times. 

At the end of that fun, it was Mr. Potroast's 40th birthday, so there were some festivities planned. Japanese hibachi and 'Cabin in the Woods' (SOOOOOO good, seriously, go see it). Oh, and there was ice cream cake, and he got a new bike. I swear he turned 40, not 10, but sometimes it's good to clarify these things.

Due to all the above stitching has been non-existent until yesterday. BUT, Paris and I have become reacquainted, oh yes, we have.

9 o'clock diamond

Left flower corner

My half of part 1!!!

More pictures under the Paris tab. The plan is to be done with my half of part one by the end of the week. I believe this is doable, barring any child related drama.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yanks All Up in King Arthur's Court

We have briefly mentioned our affinity for all things British. ALL. THINGS. We're not sure what exactly it is about that island that calls to us so loudly. We can both trace some heritage back there. Maybe it's some primordial pull? Dunno. Don't care. This blog post is anything but brief. If you aren't already an Anglophile, you will be by the time you're done reading. If you actually read all the way to the end. Which will be impressive. ***

Today's post is the Top 10 Reasons Why Great Britain Rocks! (In no particular order...)

10. British Stitchery - We love several designers of British origin. But oh so much we love Moira Blackburn. Nikki has approximately eleventy hundred of her charts, I recently ordered the Moon Sampler, and one of our shared WIPs is Three Things Sampler.

9. THE Accent - What is it about British accents? All I know is that if someone with a British accent cussed me out I would probably thank them and ask them to do it again just to listen to them. It makes normally unattractive people beautiful. It makes jerks seem proper and refined. I want a British accent! Instead I say things like, ya'll. Life is not fair.

8. TV - Sooooooo much goodness to list here...Nikki would probably slap me if I didn't firstly include Doctor Who (I have been instructed very clearly that should I ever use the abbreviation Dr. instead of typing out the whole word or saying THE Doctor that I would be disowned and/or attacked by MI-6 agents). This list also includes awesome sitcoms like Coupling, Gavin and Stacey, Ab-Fab, etc. The drama list is even better. We thank the British Isles for epic awesomeness such as Downton Abbey. DOWNTON FREAKING ABBEY! Julian Also, MI-5 (known as Spooks across The Pond), Sherlock, Being Human, Monarch of the Glen, Inspector Lewis, and pretty much anything on Masterpiece Theater and/or any of the BBC stations.
We do have one point of contention. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY must the seasons be so short! You're killing us Americans who are used to being able to glut ourselves on a TV series! We respect that it's quality and not quantity that counts but are still throwing a tantrum in the corner.

7. British Authors - The classics go without saying. Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (help save his house!) and J.R.R. Tolkien top the list for us in that category. For contemporary writers we'd like to give an American author, Laurie R. King, an honorable mention for her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. Then there's J.K. Rowling. Duh. We are still waiting for our acceptance letters to Hogwarts. We like Ken Follett a great deal too. We are also totally in love with Anne Perry and Jacqueline Winspear (who is British by birth, but lives in California....WHY?) If you like strong female protagonists and a really good mystery (set in Britain, of course!), these ladies are definitely for you. We strongly suggest Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series and William Monk series. Jacqueline Winspear writes the fantastic Maisie Dobbs series.
Also, should any of these books get turned into movies, we DEMAND that Maggie Smith be cast as Great Aunt Vespasia and Lady Rowan Compton. DEMAND!

6. British Food - In general, the UK doesn't come to mind for culinary achievement. But a few things score big. Scones, delicious! Bangers and mash, yes...and bonus that the name is funny! Fish & chips*, of course! Anything I can use vinegar on with abandon is good in my book. Shepherd's Pie*...mashed potatoes, gravy, oh even yesser! (Nikki and I disagree on these things. She doesn't eat fish. I don't like shepherd's pie. Thus far, this argument (or row!) has not come to blows.)

5. British Phrases - Perhaps this should have been included in the accent section, but I kind of felt it deserved its own category. Fun fact. Ever heard of Cockney rhyming slang? It's an old tradition of explaining  or describing something by using a rhyming alternative. For example "raspberry tart" = "fart". According to Bill Bryson in, "Notes From a Small Island," this is why when you blow a "raspberry" you're making a farting noise. HILARIOUS.
Other British terms/phrases we find amusing: knickers, twat, loo, "What the devil are you getting at?", pants!, bloody, snog, etc.

4. British Teatime - What? A bonus snack/meal? YES, PLEASE!

3. Hats - This is a trend we really wish would catch on in America. Hats are FABULOUS! FAB-U-LOUS.

See??? (Oh, have we mentioned our love of Maggie Smith and Downton Abbey? It really can't be said enough.)

2. Winston Churchill/British Politics/Wills & Kate - First of all, Winston Churchill was a certified badass (even if at some point most infants look like him...even my niece).

If you are interested in learning more about him, this was one of my few forays into non-fiction and I was fascinated. Secondly, watching members of Parliament perfect the art of insults is hysterical. Thirdly...

If you don't get it....I...wha?....what's not to get?

1b. British Men - Again, the accent comes into play here for sure. But still...Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Laurence Fox, pretty much every Mr. Darcy ever, David Tennant, John Barrowman, Jason Isaacs, Dan Stevens, Tony Blair, Prince William, Prince Harry, ohhhhh so many more....

1a. Matthew MacFadyen.

That is all.

***Stereotype Disclaimer: We fully acknowledge that we may be playing right into stereotypes, but no harm  or disrespect is intended. :)

In other news...

Recipe Post:

Guacamole...much like Philip fantastic, but not sexy. I cannot vouch for Philip Davis, but this hot mess is tasty.

I have no recipe, per se. I use 2 avocados, 1 roma tomato (seeded and finely diced), 1/2 of a red or white onion finely diced, and lime juice, fresh cilantro, and salt to taste. Seeded and finely diced jalapeno optional. Mix until it tastes right and double, triple, or quadruple as needed. 

In stitchery news:

I have been Three Things Sampler-ing as well MTMing. MTM Jessica stitches, I OWN YOU!

Pip, pip, and cheerio, old chaps! Have a great day! 

P.S. This is to amuse Nikki...

- Lauren (with much assistance and input from Nikki)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend Update

Mr. Potroast (my husband-maybe one day I'll tell THAT story) and I are going on 13 years of marriage next month. I fully believe there is no one else out there that would put up with him, and no one else out there that would put up with me. Which is why. we. work. But...enough of the mushy stuff.

If you're familiar with the t.v show 'Everybody Loves Raymond', then you're familiar with my marriage. We're Ray and Debra in a lot of ways. I don't incessantly wear sweater/cardigan combos, and I would probably be the worst PTA/room mom EVER, but in a lot of other ways...yeah, that's us.

Yesterday morning we had a 'moment'. It was a lot like this:

But instead of a suitcase imagine it was us mopping the kitchen floor due to Old Dog's overnight mess (that I had already cleaned TWICE, I might add).  Oh, another way we're not like Ray and Debra-there is no way Mr. Potroast could drag me up the stairs like that-That woman is TINY!

No fear though-the floor got cleaned, and has been cleaned twice more since then.  I'd say I have the cleanest kitchen floor in the history of ever, except I see what goes on it on a nightly basis and a blowtorch full of bleach couldn't get me to make that claim.

Stitchy update:

Finished my second biscornu! Yay! Forgot what a bitch it is to stitch together those last few sides. Wanted to throw the damn thing across the room a few times. But, it's done. Not very springy, much more V-day, but I really like the Rhodes stitches and the beads I added.

I'm really liking my mini collection of biscornu (or is it biscorni?)

Have a great rest of the weekend, and maybe there will be a food post next time (psst-bug Lauren for her guac recipe!)

Peace out!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Home again

The big girls are on Spring Break this week and we have just returned from a short jaunt to the grandparents for Easter. I'm happy to report I have no vomit stories like Lauren, I do have an Old Dog poop in the car story but...I'm feeling magnanimous today. Lets just say it took us three tries to actually get on the road last Saturday.

Easter was low-key, which was fine with me. For the first time in the history of FOREVER the 'Easter Bunny' behaved and brought baskets of appropriate size and volume. The kids of course were all like 'Whuck?!?! Not to be understanding'. We told them it's a down economy and that affects everyone, even the Easter Bunny. I don't think they cared. There were scones (orange-cranberry, more on this in a minute), and Fancy Ham, and Mom and I didn't get out of our pajamas. So basically-best. holiday. EVER.

I hauled Paris down with me, but alas it was never touched. I did some biscornu work, but that was about it, other than the three puzzles we completed and the book I started and finished. So, important work was done, don't worry.

Now, onto the tasty stuff.

SCONES! I love scones. 1. Because they are delicious. Duh  and 2. Because they are baked goods that I can actually make. Dough is my kryptonite. Scones do not involve using a rolling pin, or rising, or anything remotely technical so I can rock them. Hard.

 Scone recipe

Seriously easy and everyone loves them.


Go forth and make scones!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Motherhood: A Messy Journey...Literally

Today's lesson: What not to do when your kid barfs in public!

But FIRST...

(Maniacal giggling...)

This post is not for fainting Fannies. It's about my morning. With my son. There's barf involved. Reader beware.

I believe very strongly in NOT pretending that motherhood or myself as a mom is a Leave it to Beaver picturesque scene. I am no June Cleaver. I can't remember the last time I wore a string of pearls or a lacy apron. Sorry, kids.

I didn't plan on being a stay-at-home mom. It happened by default when I was laid off. (In a slightly related note, I'd like to say that having been in both positions, I have nothing but respect for the full-time working mom AND the stay-at-home mom. Can the citizens of Mommy Land please stop tearing each other up for the choices we make with regards to career/stay at home-ness? Aren't we all on the same team? Can't we all just get along? Cue, "What the World Needs Now"...)  But I am thankful, thankful, thankful that we are in a position where my income loss no longer matters. I also wouldn't trade motherhood for anything in the whole wide world. Not even fresh, hot Krispy Kreme donuts. Believe me, that is saying a lot.

However, motherhood was extremely messy today.
At the grocery store with my son (henceforth to be known as Godzilla...he is the child my parents wished on me, AND the child my in-laws wished on my husband...good thing he's so darn cute and lovable), we were happily tooling over to the bakery where the kids get a free cookie. Godzilla commences cookie eating....gag....wait....are you okay, buddy?....Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamnnnnnnnn.
And there I am, holding cookie vomit. Because of course my instinct was to reach out and catch it....whuck?

CP, another fabulous barf-catching mom and our comrade in all things vamp trash and Harry Potter composed the following Haiku:

Mother of the Year

Cupped hand stretch, struggle
to contain free cookie barf.
We're covered in chunks...

But we rallied forth with a little help from the awesomesauce bakery ladies, a back-up outfit from the diaper bag, a whole lotta wipes, some kisses, and a sense of humor! Onward, to the dairy section!

In other news, specifically stitching news (KB, you can stop reading now), I had a lovely time this afternoon working on the Medieval Town Mandala. I partially finished four flower beds and reveled in the colors and silks. Suck it, London!

- Lauren

P.S. We heart you, CP! Thanks for your contribution and always enjoyable humor!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Two little birdies, sitting on a lamp post

Stitchy update:

I'm supposed to be packing or something so I can head to the 'rents tomorrow morning. This of course means I will toss the final load of laundry in the dryer when I wake up and dash around the house like someone possessed for two hours before throwing three kids and two dogs in the car and most likely forgetting the dog food and mayhaps some other important things. It happens.

Lauren would have been packed on Tuesday.

So, since I'm not packing, I was stitching!

Worked on my biscornu a bit this morning, I like the piece but it's not as springy as I wanted, screams Valentine's Day to me, but I like it. Really liking the Rhodes stitches. Think I'm going to add some beads to this one.

Gave Paris some attention this afternoon. Finished the backstitch on the scrolls and did the second bird. 

Fancy Ham is on my agenda for the weekend and maybe if I get some packing done tonight I'll make scones in the morning and take some pics to share.

Peace out!


Hoppy Weekend!

Firstly, may I say how much Nikki and I are enjoying the blog love we are receiving. May I also say how much geeky fun we're having checking our stats and seeing where around the world people are who check out this blog? We're like Jerry Lewis in Russia! That may be a slight exaggeration...

So happy Easter weekend! Or if you do not celebrate Easter, happy really awesome sales on chocolate time! Or if you don't eat chocolate....well...I really don't have anything to say to you.

We have an exciting weekend on deck. My husband, who shall henceforth be referred to as Mr. Mathlete (because it preserves his anonymity and gives me a giggle at the same time) is lucky to work with some pretty spectacular people. We have grown close to one in particular, as well as his awesomesauce wife and cutie pie kid. He and his wife's fantastical families kind of adopted us when we first moved down here. We have joined them all for every Easter since we moved, with one exception. So this morning, in anticipation of making an apple pie to take, I decided to make homemade crust. I love, love, love to cook and bake, but from scratch pie crust has always been intimidating to me. My parents, in their infinite wisdom, gave me a great food processor for Christmas two years ago. SOOO......


I share this so that you may worship at my feet. Obviously. ( is the food post you requested...)

In the realm of stitchery, I have been working on London. Would you like to see the progress? Hahaha, silly question. What could possibly be more important to you at this very moment?

Can you see the progress? No? ME EITHER! That's the problem with this piece. I know I put more hours into it and can barely tell. (But if I'm being totally honest, London is growing on me.) Also, once London is finished, I will never stitch something with a bajillion shades of taupe again. I miss color. Sigh.

First world problems are tough. (No need to roll your eyes. I'm rolling them at myself.)

: )

Have a great weekend!

- Lauren

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Majikal Days?

I thought Mercury was in retrograde right now and things were supposed to be all messed up, but maybe that's done? I don't know, and honestly, I don't care. Today started so majikally I was surprised when there WASN'T a unicorn pooping kittens in my bedroom. The Old Dog let me sleep. All. Night. Long! Little background here, our Old Dog is 13, and ancient. Barely sees, barely hears, doesn't know or care that the backyard is for doing her business, etc. She's confined to the main floor during the day and in the kitchen at night. One of her favorite nighttime activities is howling at around 3 in the morning. It's totes fun apparently.  Then I'm usually greeted by a large puddle, or smushed poo all over the floor. Again...totes fun.  But last night...nothing. Amazeballs. And when I got up this puddle, no poo. It was majikal.

The majik continued when I went online to pay my mortgage and found out it had been adjusted DOWN. Whuck?!?! I didn't even know that was possible!

Because of these two events I decided to tempt the fates and Miss A (my youngest) and I set out on a trek to find a new park and go to Target. I thought our majikal luck was running out when the first park was closed! The second took me down a road that I was sure was going to end in a made for Lifetime movie. However, a little back tracking and I found this lovely place ten minutes from my house and in the middle of town!

I'll definitely be coming back here with the older two.

Stitching update: Although I probably shouldn't have touched Paris yesterday considering I was operating on three hours of sleep courtesy of the Old Dog, I did a little bit. Did the north lantern post and scrolls and one little birdie.

Hope your day is majikal, or at the least,  you don't have to clean up any poo.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The StitchySisters Lexicon

Hi! This is Lauren, the Florida half of this dynamic duo. (This is what we like to consider ourselves, much to our glee and others' chagrin.)

I feel it is important to share a partial StitchySisters lexicon...terms you will inevitably see in our blogging.

Please to be keeping in mind that we grew up in the 80s and 90s...

Awesome! (And variations on awesome such as awesomesauce!)
Bloody! (Because we love the Brits!)
Douche______: i.e - douchebaggery, douchecanoe, etc.
Dude! (It's a staple.)
Epic! (Often combined with Awesomeness....see further information later in this post.)
Just sayin' (It's usually a succinct summation.)
Oh, damn! (It's such a favorite that Nikki, in her awesomeness, stitched it for me on a hanging pillow.)
Please to be... (Because it amuses us.)
Schmidt! (Rhymes with...)
Sweet! (Yup. I know.)
Whore! (Not necessarily derogatory, often a term of endearment.)

These are the socially acceptable terms we will likely use. There are many unacceptable ones that we also like. We will save those for our texts.  

More about our epic awesomeness...

We are in the process of creating ginormous cross-stitched pieces for loved ones. We have been commissioned, so to speak...we do not take payment from this lifetime...please to be continuing reading...
Those of you in the world o' stitchery can appreciate the pieces we are doing and will understand what a task we have undertaken:

For my Parents: London (Thea Gouverneur)

For my Mother-in-Law/Nikki's Mother: ....?...(We're working on her...she thinks we're nuts...we've never denied it...just sayin'.)

These are huge undertakings that we share. Nikki does a section, mails it to me, I do a section, mail it back, etc. We are sooooo not altruistic in this. We are silk whores. That's right. Whores. (See, that lexicon came in handy, didn't it?) These pieces are stitched with a great deal of silk and shiny metallics and beads and pretty, pretty, pretties! We cannot afford to purchase all of these kits/silks. Therefore, we pimp ourselves out to family members who:
a.) Can appreciate the time and effort we will put into these pieces. We are awesomesauce, but it is hella lotta work.
b.) We will end up receiving these pieces back from upon their demise, unless something goes horribly, terribly wrong in these relationships. (We doubt it.)

So you see, we are selfish whores. We admit it. We're okay with it. And our families benefit from it. It's a win-win.

So, who doesn't qualify for an epically awesome piece stitched by us? 

My sister (Who is totally awesome but does not care for cross-stitchery...I love her anyway.)
Clowns (They are just scary.)

But we hope you enjoy watching our works in progress develop! 

Breaking the seal

Let's get this introductory stuff out of the way so that we never have to do this again. 
This blog will be co-written, co-run, co-occupied by myself (Nikki-Hi!) and my most favoritest sister in law Lauren. She married my little brother. Still not quite sure why as it seems that her and I were separated at birth, but I won't question (this).  

We're stay at home moms to five total, ranging from 21 months to 11 years. I've got three, she's got 2, we both spend each day trying to keep the little people alive, the house from completely falling apart, and us from totally losing our collective schmidt. 

When we're not doing the above (because clearly that's not enough!), we stitch, we read, we obsessively watch excellent British TV and movies, talk, text, and chat the majority of the day and most importantly, plan our retirement. 

We plan on blogging about our kids, our animals, our stitching (more to come on that), and any other random things that strike our fancy. 


Nikki and Lauren