project: superhero cape for the nephew


for my nephew Dune's 3rd birthday at the end of April i decided i wanted to make him something really special and personal. what could be more fun than a costume of some sort? so i busted out the sewing machine that jesse bought me for my last birthday FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE I GOT IT and made him a superhero cape, personalized t-shirt, a mask, and glove/cuff thingies!

i found the cape pattern here at - a wonderful sewing site/blog with great instructions on this easy cape. there's even a downloadable pdf!

my fabric cutting and sewing skills aren't that great (yet), so there were some flaws in the final product, but i was pretty proud of what i created. the mask and gloves were total guesswork, but they actually ended up fitting perfectly! i also always try to incorporate Dune's name or his initials somehow. i think it's because growing up, nothing EVER had my name on it. you know those cute bicycle license plates all the kids had with their names on them? yeah, they never make stuff like that for us RAENAs. so i am bound and determined to bestow personalized gifts on my amazing nephew.

i didn't get any of my own photos of him wearing it, but my brother finally got this one on his computer!! it totally made my day yesterday. (those of you who are more observant will notice that the cape is reversible too. fun!)

you can see he opted for some more hardcore wrist-wear, but that's just how he do. total badass already.

i am heading down to FL this weekend for my big 30th birthday party and little Duney will be there, along with bunches of other people that i love. i can't wait! what could be better than that? oh yeah, there is going to be a piƱata - THAT is better. you are jealous. i forgive you.


the new place.


we are mostly settled in DC now. trust me, i have the bruises to prove it. why do i get all these mystery bruises whenever i do something laborious like moving? i've counted 11. and the bruises are inevitably on my thighs and lower legs, making for the most white trash semblance ever. i just hope they are gone by next weekend*.

where was i? oh yes, we are moved in. the bedroom is still a little lacking and i have some things that have not yet made it on the walls, but i'm feeling better about it every day. i love this apartment. the picture below of our view of the capitol building is skewed by my wide angle lens . . we are much closer than that. it's neat!

i thought that downsizing from 1410 square feet to 726 would actually be more dramatic. granted, we made at least 4 separate trips to donate stuff at Goodwill (and still 1 to go), but i'm amazed that the rest of our stuff did actually fit in here. our building is really nice and has an amazing rooftop. it has a pool and 2 big propane grills. separate bathrooms up there as well as nice furniture to sit and hang out. and we are very close to the National's stadium, and all week there have been night games and the noise of the crowd is somehow comforting.

i'm still tired and spent all of yesterday indoors (after the gym in the morning, of course) watching a few episodes of season 1 of
Six Feet Under (amazing! how did i never watch it before?!). but today i shall venture out on the $1 circulator bus to Georgetown in search of "the necessaries" from Lush. and maybe some indulgent shopping at Anthropologie. i don't particularly like the Georgetown area, as it's full of J. Crew soccer moms giving me the stink eye, but it has the stores i want to go to. maybe it won't be so bad during the day on a friday?

ok then . . without further ado, here's the apartment so far. yay. click for bigger.

we're on the 7th floor. it has concrete floors and some carpet (boo) in the bedroom and the "den". we have a den! how fancy. and yes, those ARE fresh flowers on the dining table. sometimes jesse comes through.

ok, gym time!



the hamilton county fair


before leaving the "cincinnati area", we went to the Hamilton County Fair with some friends. it was actually a blast and i'm so glad we went. the weather was absolutely perfect that night. i witnessed my first ever demolition derby. i felt like such a redneck egging cars on to smash into and debilitate each other, but it was amazing. had the best lemonade and funnel cake EVER . . seriously, it was the fattest, moistest, most yummiest funnel cake in the history of funnel cakes. and the fair is so full of color, so of COURSE i took my camera. here are a few of my favorite shots.

the money shot:

the fair from the hill:

the view from up in the ferris wheel:

the side view from the super slide:


and us:

such a good time. a fitting send-off. more on the move and new digs later . .




there are few things that make me happier than the smell of bread toasting. mmmmm. total comfort right there. i've missed the luxury of making my custom sammich for lunch every day. since i started this traveling consultant lifestyle, working in an office where i'm afraid to put ANYthing in the refrigerator (and where my lunches are paid for), i haven't been able to keep up with my sammich-making.

enter this week. working from home. sammiches galore every day! in the midst of working and packing, i am enjoying my lunch breaks so much that i dance-eat while listening to my "Gangs of Four" Pandora station.

and if you're curious . .

Raena's Hummus & Veggies Sammich:
  • 2 slices of multi-grain bread, toasted (duh)
  • roasted red pepper hummus
  • 2 slices of muenster cheese (favorite)
  • 6 pieces of thinly sliced cucumber
  • 5-6 strips of red bell pepper
  • green leaf lettuce
et voila!


moving to DC


. . . in t-4 days.

noting that the decision to make a multi-cross-state 525 mile move was made merely 10 days ago, it's been somewhat stressful to arrange all of the details. securing an apartment (two scariest words ever? "site unseen"), figuring out what to do with both of my cars (living in a "big" city, what do i need with ONE car let alone TWO?), sorting out how to physically move everything (stupid carpal tunnel syndrome weak wrist!) . . and the list goes on.

i'm really excited to move and wish it wasn't only tuesday. i'm ready to get this show on the road, mentally. but there is still much to be done.

we're currently in that state of "do we pack up all the dishes and pots and pans yet? are we still going to cook? what about eating breakfast?" we're at a stand-still. i'm working from home this week, and spending all day inside of this very cluttered space serves me poorly. i'm a no-clutter kind of gal! so i remind myself that it's temporary and in (t-)4 days we will be heading for the nation's capital to our very expensive, very tiny 726 square feet of apartment, with a view of the nation's capitol.

let this serve as a reminder:


polaroid rollcall


in preparing for the big move to DC, i found my polaroid camera, some pictures, and a new cartridge of film. yay! i had to bust out my scanner to scan some receipts for work, so i figured, hey, what a fantastic time to scan these polaroids!

i'm very smart.




if i don't get to take some photos or work on a crafty project or bake cookies from scratch or write something meaningful or get something constructive yet fun done sometime soon . .




unrelated but somewhat related: lately i'm jealous of people undergoing life-changing events*. there, i said it.

*does not include moving.