Friday, May 29, 2009

Ode to Child Bearing Hips

Or child born hips. It is important, for the sake of personal sanity, that I say this in past tense (but how to do so properly is obviously a mystery to me). I was cleaning out my closet this week and the stack of jeans that I can no longer squeeze into (but have been hoarding in a denial induced fog) was a little more robust than it ought to have been. I'm not as skinny as I thought .
My hips will never squeeze into the majority of those jeans EVER again. So instead of letting that abundant stack remain on the top shelf of my closet collecting dust for another few years, I might as well do a little recycling. No point in wasting good denim, right?
And, my hubby's youngest brother just happens to be getting married on Saturday (tomorrow!). Can you see where my brain went with this?
Let's just say my loss is their gain. Or, to be more accurate, my gain is their gain.
Every newlywed couple is in need of a good picnic blanket...especially one backed in warm and cuddly fleece. Handy for all sorts of .....

.....And this is where I stop. I tend to ramble and say strange & stupid things when I'm tired, and right now, I am completely wiped out. Not only did I make the quilt, we also painted our master bed and bath. All in the last 72 hours. Crazy, Crazy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Coffee & End Table Makeovers

A little while back, I refurbished a china cabinet and put it in our living room. Ever since then, the coffee & end tables in this room have really been bugging me. I wasn't loving the stained pine, and the tables had become pretty beat up...too many toys dragged across the surface. So I decided it was time to fix them up (seeing the same coffee table for sale at the thrift store sealed the deal).

First off I did some minor sanding and then primed with latex primer.

Then I hand painted them "Blanched Pine" (Lowes color) and then used the antiquing glaze (same process as china cabinet).

Below is a look at the before. I only remembered to take a picture after I had hauled them out to the back patio, so the lighting is a little dappled.
Here is what the room looks like now...

Since I still get a lot of hits on this post, I thought I would show how you how this room looks in 2011:

Still loving the white tables...super kid friendly and easy to touch up as needed!

The big blank spot on the wall is where a big mirror usually hangs, but it too is getting a makeover (picture it hanging there, also painted an antique white). Then, because I just can't leave things alone, the pillows on the sofa & loveseat are slated for a face-lift. We've had this furniture for a while, and I'm tired of looking at it, but a new set is pretty far down on the list of "wants" right now. So not exactly new, but hopefully a little improved.

NEXT UP: The bedroom walls. Bought a couple gallons of "Silver Sea", a muted, beachy, blue. And, just as soon as I can face the "blue tape" (hate that part), we'll get on with it. Good times in our future!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vintage-y Beach Skirts

I finally made something with some of those vintage sheets I've been hoarding. We were headed to our favorite lake this weekend and I had an epiphany- we needed swishy beach skirts! Two of my favorite things...walking barefoot on soft warm sand, and soft flowing skirts swishing around my ankles. I stayed up way too late, but I was able to make one for each of the girls.

I didn't have time to make a skirt for me but I couldn't let them have ALL the ankle swishing, barefoot fun.

Such a perfect day. Crowd-less beaches, beautiful weather and all my little people self entertained and not bugging each other.

Perfection but for one thing...
We found a friend lurking in a puddle of water.
The same puddle my baby had been playing in all afternoon.
Lurking & waiting for the perfect moment to completely FREAK us out.
With a voice full of horror, my seven year cried out, "What is it.... A TICK?!"Good question.
Although we were pretty sure it wasn't a tick (a tick on steroids perhaps), it was like nothing we had seen before.
Maybe a gigantic, mutant, bug eyed, water dwelling cock roach with pinchers?
My horrified daughter said, "I don't think we should play with it....I think it BITES."
My oldest responded with "Can we keep it?"
Hmmmmm, let me think about that.... Umm NO.
NOT going to be my squishy, NOT going to be mine!
He found a sand bucket for it and named it Sea-ca.

Needless to say, Sea-ca did NOT come home with us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dandelion Dreams

The other day I was walking around the block with my two youngest. My 3 (almost 4!) year old was falling behind, easily distracted by his surroundings. I was about to tell him to hurry up, when I heard his little voice from behind me say, "chocolate cake everyday." I turned around just in time to see him blow a stem of dandelion seeds into the wind.

He continued stopping, picking and blowing his wishes into the wind the rest of the way home. Very entertaining. I don't remember ever enjoying a walk around the block so much.

When he wasn't making making wishes of his own, he was bringing stems to me. I would tell you what I was thinking of when I was sending my wishes up into the wild blue, but that might jinx me forever.

But now would be a good time to share a few items of interest I found on the MLS this week...

Anyway, today the little guy brought me an overflowing handful of dandelions. Instead of tossing them in the trash when he wasn't looking, I found a jar and set them out. To me they are no longer just pesky weeds. They are conduits through which dreams are set free. Even dreams of chocolate (or green acres).

Just don't want them set free all over the lawn.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Race for the Cure

I was able to spend part of Mothers Day weekend participating in the Race for the Cure on my friend Julie's (above right) team. She is amazing and I was glad to be there in support of her. There were so many people participating...someone said 17,000. Breast cancer affects the lives of way too many. I was surprised to see how many young women are fighting this fight, my friend Jules being one of them. I saw one young dad (he didn't even look 30) pushing a stroller with a young baby and his sign said in celebration of my wife, the stroller had a sign saying in celebration of my mom. Heart wrenching! It was really cool to see all of the survivors together in pink...

Hanging with some of the neighborhood ladies on her team (Her "Fight Like a Girl" Rosie the Riveter team shirts rocked)...

Some more fun shirts...

More Pink

The Bechtel Crabapples are blooming...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Come on baby light my fire...

The Prairiefire Crabapples are in bloom. I'm sure I took way too many pictures, but I just can't help myself.

We have a couple of these trees in our backyard and I seriously LOVE them. Looking out the window and seeing them in full bloom has made my week! I can't tell you how many times I have gone outside just to admire them. And smell them. They smell really good.

Our trees are still small, but what they lack in height, they seem to make up in denseness. My little shadow is almost hidden in the below image...

There were a few low hanging branches that needed to be trimmed, so I was able to bring a bunch of blooming beauties inside. Now my house smells yummy too. The Bechtel Crabapples are next.

* You might have to bear with me for a bit, I am sure there will be more gardening posts to come. When I get spring fever it's the "flora on the brain" strain, and this year I seem to have it bad.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Little Blue Box

Yesterday evening when my hubby walked in the door (just in time to rescue me from a rapidly approaching case of child induced insanity) he reached into his bag and pulled out a little blue box, with a white ribbon. The same kind of little blue boxes I have seen the movies (usually of the romantic comedy variety). Never actually in real life, definitely not in MY real life. Right away I thought he was giving me an early mothers day gift. He is thoughtful like that sometimes.
However, I quickly discovered the real reason behind the little blue box. Inside was a $100 gift card given to my numerically inclined husband for five years dedicated service (the financial, over my head, my mind wanders when he speaks of it, type of work) rendered on the 22nd floor of this building...

So after the kids were tucked in, I decided to check out the goods at Tiffany's. I found a lovely watch... for $5,100 and a little vegetable bowl that would be perfect in my china cabinet, if only we had 17 more gift certificates. HOLY TOLEDO - there is a reason we don't have a Tiffany's in our neck of the woods. We are all too poor - by that I mean middle class.

I finally got a clue and clicked on the under $150 section. Not a lot to choose from at the bottom of the barrel, but I was kind of smitten with the above turquoise key pendant. Only $150. . .$100 for the pendant only (can always pick up a silver chain at Target, right?). Not exactly what my husband would have chosen to reward himself with. Tickets to a Yankee game the next time he's in NY on business would have been more his thing. But alas, our options are kind of limited. So to make a long story short, I am thinking the token in the little blue box will end up being a reward for me (by default) for 10 years of mostly dedicated service
doing the following...

Keeping my little peeps in a row. We went to the zoo last week and of all the animals, I think I loved this little family best. Something so familiar about the mom. Perhaps you see it too.