Tag Archives: DIY

I’ve worn some clothes lately

I’m having difficulty keeping up with things like blogs and Etsy and such this summer. Work has been crazy and draining, leaving me with little energy for much else in the evenings. I’m starting to get back on track, so today I have a few outfits to share. I’ve even felt like my fashion game has been lack lustre, so I’m glad that I’ve been able to throw together a few gooders lately. 

I’ll start with an outfit that, as I took the pictures, I thought “I can’t believe I’m taking pictures like this that I know I’m going to blog about – I look pretty lazy!”. I took these photos before running out the door to a belly dance practice one night. I really wanted to wear the pants and hadn’t photographed them yet, so I decided to take pictures right then, with unstyled hair and little makeup!

burda pantsThe pants I made myself from an old Burda pattern. The fabric is from a huge collection that a crafty friend gave me a few years ago when she was downsizing. The shirt is a PJ top from Joe Fresh that I bought to wear as “day clothes”, not as PJs. 

I love these pants a LOT, but given where I live, I get all the weird looks when I’m out. It really makes me just want to wear them more! I need to make more in different colours and fabrics now! If you want super comfy pants, make or buy some pantaloons! 

In additional Fabric Friends Gave Me news…

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I got the fabric for this skirt from another friend who hosted a craft supply swap in the spring. This skirt is so full and bright and obnoxious and I LOVE IT. I also made the blouse from some $5/m crepe. In this midst of making it, I found a little lace applique and thought I needed a little breast pocket, which needed a little lace. 

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This outfit is so simple, yet I really love it. I had been looking for a black and white striped top for ages, but couldn’t ever find one that was just right. Finally, on a recent trip to Denver (more on that in a future post!), I found one in my first ever foray into the Gap. I don’t shop at the Gap because I find their clothes way too overpriced for how plain they are. But they were having a sale, and US retail has WAY better prices/sales than Canada, so I figured I’d go in and check it out. I got this top for like $12, so score! I was also pleasantly surprised to find that I could totally fit into Gap clothes. Next time they’re having a sale and I need some basics, it might be worth it to check them out again. 

The pants are by the ever-stylish Sears brand Jessica (size 18) and the shoes are size 10, shitty, from Target and totally falling apart after 2 months. 

Lastly, in this self indulgent post to end all self indulgent posts, is my favourite outfit of late. I wore this to go to the art gallery yesterday. 

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Pants: Tripp NYC, 18 //  Purple polka dot cami: Torrid, size 1 // Lace tank: I don’t even know. Sears maybe? 1X // Jean Jacket: Old Navy, 2X  // Leopard brooch: made myself  // Wristlet clutch: Vera Bradley (my favourite discovery while state-side)  //  Necklace: amethyst amulet that I got at a crystal sale and strung onto a chain  // glasses: Derek Cardigan // headwrap: bandana from a clothing swap among belly dancers last year. 

I’ve really been into wearing Rosie the Riveter style headwraps lately. Especially the one in these photos. My eyeliner game is pretty fierce there too. 

I bought some more fabric in the states too that I want to sew up soon and share. 

What have you been wearing lately? What’s your favourite accessory or “look” right now? 

 

Take care of each other!

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An Update

Oh dear, it’s been almost exactly 7 months since my last post! It was a hard winter for me, which bled into the spring and part of summer. I had the usual winter/early spring depression that left me feeling unmotivated and uninspired to do anything but the bare minimum. I visited with a friend the other day who always inspires me to put more creativity and art into my life and it made me want to get back to the blog!

I’ve gone on lots of adventures, made some cool things and wore some neat outfits. I’m not going to post everything from the last 7 months here because my life isn’t that interesting. But I do have a few things.

First up, Almond “Florentines”!

My mom used to make these all the time and referred to them as Almond Florentines. I had a bunch of graham crackers left over and wanted to make some. A quick Google search indicated that she didn’t really make Almond Florentines as they’re traditionally known. This is more like a simplified version. They’re delicious and tres facile.

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar, lightly packed

Graham crackers

Slivered almonds

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and the set down a layer of graham crackers.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar. I used 1 cup of butter, but ended up with extra butter/sugar left over. You might want to use something between 3/4 and 1 cup.  Stirring constantly, let butter/sugar boil for 2 minutes.

Pour the butter mixture over the crackers, completely covering them. Sprinkle with almonds and put in the oven for 10 minutes. I put mine in for about 5 minutes, then turned the oven off and let the pan sit in the oven for the next 5 minutes. The oven is just setting everything, not really cooking.

IMG_0001When you take the pan out of the oven, the butter mixture will still be very liquidy. You might think it’s not done.

IT’S DONE, TRUST ME. But it’s also very hot. Put it on the stove top or counter and walk away for an hour.

No, seriously, walk away. Don’t touch it. It’s too hot and not ready to be enjoyed yet. You’re just going to burn yours-

I told you not to touch it, didn’t I?

After the hour is up, you’ll come back and your little cookies will have this lovely smooth candy coating on them. You can just break a cookie or five off and enjoy!

IMG_0002So tasty and delicious, you’ll have to try hard not to eat the whole pan in one night!

 

Also while going through my photos tonight, I was reminded of the totally awesome cat sweater I bought in the spring!

 

cat sweaterOutfit details:

Sweater – Target, XL // Skirt and rain jacket – made by me // Tights – JoeFresh, C  // Blouse (collar) – Zellers, XL // Shoes – Target, 10 // Glasses – Derek Cardigan

LETS ALL MARVEL AT HOW THE CAT ON MY SWEATER HAS THE SAME GLASSES AS I DO.

I’ve got a headboard tutorial planned and am also working on several sewing projects right now, so hopefully I can get some updates posted soon. But for now, those florentines aren’t going to eat themselves.

Take care of each other!

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It’s Almost the Best Day of the Year!

I love Autumn, and more specifically, Hallowe’en. As such, I end up being so busy in September and October that I don’t have time to update the blog!

I’ve been up to my ears in costuming – for myself, for friends and fellow burlesque/belly dancers. Usually because of this, I’m all Hallowe’ened out by time I actually get to October 31st. This year though, I was able to pull some stuff from my closet and some pieces from a recent burlesque performance to put together a witch costume.

This is the first time I’ve ever dressed up as a witch. It seems like a pretty mundane costume, but growing up with my mom and grandma being seamstresses and later myself, I always had interesting costumes. Some of the homemade things I’ve been over the years are:

The Statue of Liberty

A pop can

A magician’s rabbit (with the bottom half of me being an upside down top hat)

A zombie ER nurse

The Rumor from Umbrella Academy

As well as Big Bird, a bear, a butterfly, a fairy, a pirate (3 times) and a cat (3 times).

Last night I was going to a play that SaskArtGirl was in and it was a costumes-encouraged event. I threw some stuff together and said “Hey, lookit me! I’m a witch”.

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The blouse, skirt and petticoat I made for various other projects (the skirt for belly dance, the petticoat for my regular wardrobe and the blouse for a pirate burlesque piece). The underbust corset I got at Taboo last year. Hat is from Target, socks are from Sock Dreams and the boots are Steve Madden. The necklace came from a vendor at a belly dance show a few years ago.

There was a little costume competition at intermission and I won first prize! (This is the 4th costume contest I’ve won. See – studying costume design in university DID pay off! sigh…)

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 10.54.44 PMI won 2 tickets to the Regina Little Theatre’s One-Act Plays Cabaret in the Spring, 2 tickets to any regular season production and a bowl of candies!

Tonight I made a wreath for my apartment door. I have some new neighbours who are kind of jerks, so I hope this wreath doesn’t grow legs and walk away..

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I didn’t have a foam base to start on and I’m stuuuupid-broke right now, so I had to work with what I had around the house. I found a tutorial to make a wreath with rolled up pieces of newspaper, so I did that and wrapped masking tape around it. Then I wrapped black and white broadcloth around it and the green ribbon. I had a papier-mache  skull in the closet that I painted black (because I’m the kind of person that just has ready-to-paint skulls and coffins kicking around…). I finished it off with a black lace bow. I have to say I’m pretty impressed!

Next up, I’m got a belly dance costume to make for the end of November (but sooner that later so I can practice in it), and some new things for the True Knit Art Show on November 9th. The fun never ends! (No really, this is fun. Even when I don’t have time to sleep and my house is falling apart around me…)

I’m hoping to get one more Hallowe’en post in with it being the best day ever and all. Hopefully later this week!

Take care of each other and stay spooky!

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Leopard Print and Monsters

Third post in one week! I’m back in the game, folks!

Just a quick post to show off a new creation. I’ve seen some deconstructed/upcycled denim skirts floating around the interwebs lately that I’ve wanted to try. Normally  the word “upcycled” makes me break out in a terrible rash and causes a vein in my forehead to stand out. I like clean lines and finished edges and well-installed zippers and hems.  But all these cute skirts I’ve seen lately, while they definitely had a “I don’t know what I’m doing!” feel to them, I felt I could use my skills to make them, you know, actually look nice.

I started with a pair of old jeans. They still fit and nothing’s really wrong with them, they’re just starting to wear a little. They are like 5 years old. I don’t even have a “before” picture of these jeans because they’re so nondescript and uninteresting. Just a standard, straight-legged pair of jeans from Penningtons.

After a couple hours of sitting on my floor with my cutting board, cutting bits of fabric, piecing parts together and trimming seams (which my poor back is paying for now, ow…..), I came away with a pretty sweet skirt. My friend even commented “that used to be jeans?! You’re so creative!”

So, voila:

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Two of my favourite cotton prints + an old pair of jeans = bitchin new skirt. (And I don’t usually say “bitchin”, but it just felt apropos)

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Details: Skirt, upcycled (cringe…) by me, originally MXM Jeans via Penningtons, 16 // T-shirt, Smart Set, XL // Cardigan, Sourpuss, XXL // Tights, Joe Fresh, C // Shoes, Alegria, 10 // Necklace, RapscallionDesign.com, bought at the True Knit Art Show last year  // Glasses, Derek Cardigan

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I wore this to go to the roller derby season opener tonight and then out for birthday snacks/dessert/coffee (tomorrow, the 28th, is my bday). The game was great – I didn’t get a chance to go to many games last year as I was too busy, so it was fun to be back and see some people I hadn’t seen in a while. I love going to the games because I can show up in fishnet and leopard print and bright red lipstick and no one bats an eye. It’s almost expected. Derby people are my people.

But after hunching over a cutting board and sewing machine today and then sitting in a less than comfortable chair at the game tonight, my back and hip are kind of screaming at me. So it’s time to reheat this gel pack and maybe get into bed with a movie, or episode of Boardwalk Empire, which I’ve just discovered and am loving.

Be good to each other!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chrismakkzaa…

People of the internet: we really need to get on coming up with a secular catch-all phrase for this time of year! Something that isn’t Festivus. Because, no.

Until this afternoon, my plan for Christmas day was going to be: stay in my jammies all day, watch the Doctor Who marathon on Space, make dinner and probably do a little pity-day-drinking because I’m alone.

Then, a friend came over today to do some baking, watch a holiday movie and visit (re: put a movie on and visit whilst not paying attention to the movie at all! So it goes…)

It always takes me a long time to get into the holiday spirit for me. But when my heart does eventually turn, it’s usually after a visit with this friend. Without ever saying it in so many words, she always makes me realise that there are far worse things in the world than celebrating Christmas.

So as I did some cleaning yesterday in preparation for today’s baking and visit, I stumbled across my 3 favourite decorations, in a box on the top shelf of the storage closet. I don’t put up a tree as space is at a premium in my apartment. At this point, I have to think really hard about getting a new coffee cup or that bigger package of toilet paper for lack of storage options. But these three decorations had to get dusted off and put out while cleaning.

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Love my jingle bell wreath! It’s not so noisy that it’s annoying – just a little tinkle-tinkle as I’m opening the door.

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Santa matryoshka! (Santryoshka?)  Anything in matryoshka-form is good times in my books.

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Fabric trees – the product of last year’s “oh shit, apparently I’m into Christmas now!” moment.

My cat’s pretty awesome in that she leaves them alone for the most part. Now, if a pen, or a barrette or a ball of yarn was on the table, it would be a different story.

So my house is nice and clean, it’s decorated and I have tasty cookies!

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Next November, when I’m beaking and bah-humbugging about how wasteful and pointless this holiday is, just El Kabong me over the head, make me a cup of Starbuck’s Christmas blend coffee, and tell me to get over myself. It’ll save everyone a bunch of energy.

The one holiday thing I did before today was send out a few cards to old friends and people I won’t get to see this year. I also signed up for my first exchange over at RedditGifts! I missed the Secret Santa gift exchange, but managed to sign up in time for the card exchange. I sent mine out last week and am excited to get one back! Going through the gallery of things people received, I’ve been amazed by the generosity that people lavish on virtual strangers!

While setting up my RG profile, I was encouraged to put together a “wish list” for people to check out. Of course it’s too late now, but it’s nice to just have a handy list for other gift-giving times. So often, people ask “so what do you want?” and I’m left answering with something like “uh…. I dunno?” Here’s my wish list!

This evening, I also squared up some plans for the 25th. I’ll be spending it with my 2 favourite family members. A rather large rift was driven between two groups within the family this year and, while there’s a lot of work to be done to repair relationships, I think Christmas is a great time for redemption, no?

I was told just to come and be with family, but given who I’m going to be with, I know there will be presents. Now, I know people don’t give presents to get presents, but I like giving and making things! So I have a week to be That Person and do the last minute shopping. I don’t want to spend a lot, but I do want to give a little something. Luckily, I work a block away from a big shopping mall, so I can spend my lunch breaks searching for ideas!

I’m also in charge of making Christmas dinner, which I’m excited and nervous about! We’ll be sure to keep Dominos on speed-dial, just in case.

This will probably be my last post before Christmas. I suspect this week at work, it will either be frustratingly quiet or maddeningly busy!  In my last post, I gave a sneak peak of the project I’m currently knitting. Well, it’s not done! I screwed up majorly, twice. I’ve since changed yarns and I think it’s working better now. I’m sure they’ll probably be my first post-Christmas update, as I have some visiting and movie watching coming up, and yarn goes great with those activities!

Until then, be good to each other. Tell your loved ones that you love them; give hugs; be nice to strangers and count your blessings! Happy holidays; Merry Christmas; Happy Hanukkah; Joyous Kwanzaa and enjoy the Solstice this weekend!

Tutorial: Pin Curls!

So, it’s 7 days until Bottoms Up Burlesque’s Hallowe’en show. I have 1 costume that I haven’t even started on, and 2 that are only half done.

I have done nothing today, naturally. I worked 3 hours of overtime at the Day Job, watched the 4-hour epic documentary Never Sleep Again (if I get a chance before Hallowe’en, I may do a review), watched a bunch of shitty movies and forgot to eat dinner.

That said, I guess all that’s left to do is make costumes!  write a blog post!

My hair is finally getting longer again (I live in a world where long hair = chin length, as usually at least part of my head is shaved) and I have enough hair to hold barrettes and such. A few years ago, when my hair was this length, I’d wear it in pin curls almost every day. I was suddenly struck with the urge to put it in pin curls again last weekend and was reminded of how easy it is!

Here’s how to bite this look. All you need is a ton of bobby pins, a comb and a doo rag/head wrap/babushka of some sort.

I always have a shower and wash my hair at night because if I had to get up earlier in the morning to do it, I would literally just never bathe. After washing my hair, I comb it with the part sitting where I want it to be the next day. Then, I just pull 1 inch sections of hair, twist them up and roll them around themselves and secure with a bobby pin. The more twisted they are, the tighter the curls will be.

I don’t section or measure or anything. I just pull up a piece of hair, twist and pin. I make sure I do a good section of curls  at my crown to make sure I don’t have hair sticking straight up or that I don’t have a bald spot. This may just be me though – the back of my head has a tendency to look sparse unless I style it just so.

The more often you do this, the more you’ll figure out where you want the curls to lay and where/how to place them. Let’s take a minute to bask in all that grey in that picture.

Okay! Snap out of it. Once I’ve twisted, rolled and pinned all my hair, I take a piece of fabric, a babushka or bandanna and wrap my head to keep the pins in place while I sleep.

The head wrap I’m wearing here is one of the knot wraps from Lush! I do want to try making this hair wrap I saw online last week though.

This is the part of the process I call “set it and forget it” (No. I don’t usually call it that. It just came to me and I went with it)

Basically, I let it air dry throughout the night while I sleep. I always do it this way, so I don’t know what the results would be like if you used a hair dryer. I think the hair might end up kind of “crunchy” and fried feeling? But I can’t say for sure.

In the morning, my bangs and roots are a little flat after being under wraps all night. This is okay – a little fluffing and styling and it’s all good.

Now, start pulling out the pins and unravelling the curls. I sometimes put a finger (or the handle of my comb, or a chop stick) through the middle of the strand to separate it a bit.

(I hope you appreciate this, because I took this photo the following morning, with no makeup, without having brushed my teeth and I don’t think I was wearing a bra here. REALISM!)

Once all the pins are pulled out and the curls unravelled a little, I just fluff and scrunch and style until my hair looks how I want it. I’ll usually put some barrettes or a headband in.

Now, given that my hair isn’t super long, the curls in the back aren’t overly curly. They’re just kind of crazy. I’m pretty okay with the back of my hair looking like shit, regardless of what the front looks like. I don’t look at the back of my head, so it doesn’t matter to me.

This look is incredibly easy, with the most effort taking place the night before (at least, the way I do it). In the morning, it’s just 10 minutes to looking super cute! I think, especially the way I style it, it looks like retro – which, as you can probably guess, wins major points with me.

It is just a crazy mess of curls, with no rhyme or reason. This is why I love it. But it has come to my attention that it requires a certain attitude to pull off. Once my hair was done, I went to a craft show where I garnered a lot of side eye (nothing new, I get tons of side eye every day). I also heard two women talking not-so-quietly behind me about “what the hell is that??” and “woah, look at her hair! *smug laugh made by people who lead really satisfying lives*”

I turned around  to discover that these compliments were coming from a couple sellers at the craft show. Hey, bitches, guess what I’m never doing? Buying any of your shit, you sad, pathetic creatures. Pro tip: being snarky at a trade show is generally not good for business.

Anyway. Now that my hair is long enough, I’ll probably be doing this more often. I forgot how cute it is! And the nice thing is, it easily washes out so you can go back to straight hair tomorrow! I’ve played around with velcro curlers and sponge rollers, but I like the twist-and-pin method the best. It stays in place and is easiest to sleep on.

We’re currently in the middle of the best month of the year and the best time – Hallowe’en. I was hoping to get a few more blog posts in on various creepy/horror-related topics before the 31st. I may still do that, if I can dig out from under all my costume construction.

Until then, be good to each other!

Fall into Autumn

It’s been a hot minute since I made a new post.  September was incredibly busy – just getting back into the routine of regular dance classes and trying to eat better and get to bed at a decent time. That, combined with working on costumes for performances and the True Knit Art Show at the end of the month left me feeling a bit burnt out.

The first week of October was spent dealing with the fallout from that. My anxiety was so high that just getting up from my desk and leaving the office at lunch time felt like too much effort. In the past couple years, I’ve really started listening to myself and believing that I know what’s best for me more than anyone else does. If something feels like it’s too much, I dial it back and recognize my limits.  So I chilled out, laid low, enjoyed a 4-day weekend last weekend and feel like I’m back and ready to take on the world!

Last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada. It’s a holiday that I’m not usually very excited for, given that I don’t eat meat and don’t care to spend much time with my family. But I already had the Friday and Monday booked off work (for plans that ended up falling through), so I figured I’d get me some pumpkin pie, do some crafting and enjoy my time off.

I took some photos around my neighbourhood of the perfect autumn we’ve been having. In the past few years, the weather has gone from fairly warm to cold and snowy way too fast. Autumn is my favourite season and it always seems to be so short! So I made sure to enjoy it while it was around!

These were all taken with Hipstamatic, which I’m just starting to use (oh hi, 2012!). Everything was golden and the ground was full of crunchy leaves. We’ve since woken up to snow on the ground 2 mornings this week and colder, blustery days.

Almost overnight, all I want are wool tights, cozy coffee shop visits, a good book and home made meals. I decided, over the long weekend, that a good meal that wasn’t just pasta or eggs on toast was in order.

Now, I am a vegetarian, but mostly because I don’t agree with the way animals are farmed and processed. If they were raised and processed more humanely, I’d eat more meat. But trying to find less-cruel meat where I live is difficult. This is hard because I love poultry. This time of year is especially hard, with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all calling for turkey dinners.  There is nothing better than a turkey dinner.

I decided to see if I could find an organically grain-fed, no hormones, free range, preferably local chicken (because turkeys are usually huge and expensive!). A tall order, I know. But I found out about Pine View Farm, whose chickens fit the bill. The farm is just outside of Osler, SK – just under 300 kms away!

I picked up a 6lb bird at Nature’s Best in downtown Regina, and only balked a little at the price I paid. Especially when I saw flyers for Safeway and Superstore and saw the price of conventional chickens!

I’ve, obviously, never made a chicken right from scratch like this. So naturally, I had to Google all the things before even stepping foot in the kitchen. I was terrified of salmonella! But I roasted the bird and made some mashed potatoes, peas, stuffing and even made gravy from the roast drippings all by myself!! It was so good! And of course I had pumpkin pie – with homemade whipped cream, not the aerosol can stuff!

Naturally, I was uncomfortably food-coma’d out for the rest of the night, but I had leftovers for the rest of the week! I was pretty proud of myself, I must say.

The next logical thing in my mind was to make soup from the carcass. I’m not a huge soup eater, but something about using every single part of the bird really appealed to me. So tonight, I made soup.

This is another thing I’ve never done before. “Making soup” to me, involves a can opener and a can of Campbell’s. Making soup from scratch just seemed like so much work.  But I thought I should at least give it a try!

So I basically followed this recipe that I just randomly found online. I simmered the water with the carcass and wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

I cut up all the vegetables and wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

I removed the carcass/water from the burner, pulled the remaining meat from the bones to be added to the soup, and  wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

I added the meat, broth, vegetables and few noodles with some salt and pepper, and wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

I kept checking and salting and peppering and just didn’t know. It didn’t smell like it was going to taste like anything but hot water. But about 5 minutes before I pulled the pot from the burner, I took the first tentative spoonful of soup.

Damn, I make good soup!

 

I had a small bowl tonight, just to make sure it’s okay, you know. I’m so impressed! I totally want to try and make more soup now!

So maybe, when I bought a 6lb bird for $23, I freaked out a little. But I got 2 big meals, plus 2 nights worth of leftovers, 4 chicken sandwiches for lunches and enough soup for probably at least 4 bowls. That’s a lot of meals when you look at it that way!

This weekend, I want to maybe try making Snickerdoodles. I’ve never had them before, but they look delicious! I’ll have to see what I have for ingredients in the house – payday isn’t until Monday this time!

If I don’t have enough ingredients, I’ll definitely be kept busy with costumes – Bottoms Up Burlesque’s Hallowe’en show is on October 28 and I’m in 5 numbers! You can find more about that show here. If you’re in the Regina area, make sure you check it out.

What are you busy working on this weekend? Until next time, be good to each other!