Friday, April 29, 2011

16 mo.

My little ladybug is 16 months today.  I absolutely love this age.  She is talking up a storm...loves lions and kitties, says "turtle" with a cuteness like no other, could sit in the swing all day, still lays her head on my shoulder, plays hide and seek in the nude, loves to be chased, sways and sings when she holds her babies, always wants to pick out her shoes, asks to sit on the potty (just for fun), would eat candy all day, and makes me want to make time stand still so I can enjoy her forever.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Low Maintenance

I realized this week that I am a horrible up-keeper.  There are lots of things (mainly mechanical) that need attention on a routine basis and for some reason I can't be bothered to give them that attention they need.  For example:

cleaning out my hairbrush- simple enough task, should be doing it every week, but I can't be bothered
cleaning the filter on the hairdryer- I actually did do this last week and it was quite gratifying to see how much cleaner it was, but it had been months if not years since its last cleaning
cleaning the lent on the dryer-I know that leaving in the lent can start a fire, and increases the amount of electricity we use, but once again, can't be bothered
oil changes in my car- if my husband didn't keep up on this (he is great at upkeeping by the way) I would have blown my engine for sure
emptying the vacuum bags- I know for sure mine is about 6 months overdue but I just keep vacuuming away
cleaning fan blades-I'd just as soon buy a new fan before I did this

And now to add to the list, my sewing machine.  I should be cleaning out the dust bunnies and stray threads every month or so (according to my manual) but I have to admit, it has been years.  And what I found this week proved that.  My machine started making this high pitched shrill noise that was driving me nuts so I decided to consult the manual (I have done this only a handful of times in the 6 years I've owned it).  What happened next was a lot like a procedure in the OR.  I had to use every tool I could find to remove the lent that had worked its way into every nook and cranny of the machine. There was so much lent I could have easily knitted a sweater for a small child out of it.  But let me tell you, she works like a charm now.  So have I learned my lesson?  Will I change my ways? Can a girl go from being low maintenance to high maintenance?  Probably not overnight.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Partner in Grime

Looks like I've found a new cleaning lady.  She is great at cleaning hard to reach areas.  She works for practically nothing.  She is fast and furious with a wipee.  Her nimble fingers can pick up the tiniest pieces of trash, and she knows just where to put them.  I'm dying to get her in a miniature maid's outfit and teach her to say "housekeeping" when she enters the room. 


My fairy godmother-in-law granted my request and look what is beautifying my bedroom now!  I just can't imagine all the time she put into it, and I completely love it.  Now what should I do to upgrade my pillows/shams?  Any ideas?
And I guess this is an appropriate time to discuss the headboard too.  I had been looking for an older headboard (with spindles) that I could paint and add to our bed. Of course Craig's is my shop of choice and when I saw this one for the big price of $15, I was sure it was the one.  So after a 45 minute trip with multiple children crammed into the van, I was able to pick it up and get it home.  Only to find out it was not actually a headboard, but a foot-board!  And it didn't even peek over the pillows.  Luckily, I have a very kind and understanding husband, who has to deal with my spontaneous decisions/off the wall visions, and he was actually able to rig something to make it work. 
And I guess I'll be on to the mirrors while I'm at it.  I started this collection about a year ago and made more trips to Marshalls, Ross, and TJ Maxx than I had in years.  Trying it out, returning, re-buying, trying it out, returning. you get the idea.  Anyway, I settled on this configuration (for now at least).  Still trying to decide if I should paint them one color, several colors or leave as is.  Any suggestions here?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bye Bye Bling

Brooklyn headed back to school today after two full weeks of Easter vacation.  I really enjoyed having so much time at home with her and am looking forward (in only 5 weeks!) to having her for the whole summer.  But today was a rough day.  She came home exhausted, had to take a trip to Urgent Care, and ended up in tears having to remove her beloved earring (yes, I said earring-singular, she decided to leave just one in).  Looks like we've got sensitive ears- only 24K from here on out.  But not until she's 8 or 10 she says. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hop Hop

Look who hopped in this Easter.  I just couldn't resist the pattern from this amazing blogger/crafter.  And since Leighton has been adorably calling all bunnies "Hop Hop" lately, I had to make it for her.  I had big plans to make one for each girl (with coordinating blankies), but one was all I could muster (at midnight on Easter Eve mind you).  The other girls didn't seem to care though, since a bucket of candy was all they really wanted.

Friday, April 22, 2011

snug as a mug on a rug

Coffee wakes me up in the morning and slows me down in the evening.  There is rarely a day that passes when coffee doesn't bookend my day.  And its always french press with plenty of vanilla creamer.  And now, my coffee has a soft place to land.  Brett gave me an "oh brother" when I showed him my mug rug, but he didn't hesitate to ask me to borrow it later (he may need one of his own right?).  Anyway, very easy to make (especially with a serger!) and I'm sure you have enough scraps laying around to make one today! You need 2 pieces of fabric about 5"x7" (for front and back), 2 pieces of felt 5"x7" (for padding), and several small scraps (for making it extra pretty).  Before you start sewing, decide if you want any embroidery and do that first on the fabric piece that will become your "front".   Everything else can fit around that.  Then make a stack of your fabrics (right sides out) with the felt in between.  Serge or zig-zag stitch around the outer edges.  Pin down several patches and then sew straight (kind of) lines down the length of the fabric and over the patches.  And there you have it.  Now your mug can be snug on a rug of its own!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

need v. want

I've been busy lately.  Trying to do the things that "need" to be done while sneaking in a few minutes doing the things that I want to/feel like doing.  This is a constant struggle for me.  When the girls go down for naps and I get my hour and half of peace, I feel like online shopping, crafting, reading, blogging but what I should be doing is sweeping, scrubbing, folding, organizing. Working to find a balance here.   

Anyway, here's one of the things I squeezed in this week.  It was actually a "need meets want" because I needed to have a (cheap) gift for a bridal shower, and I always love crafting new things.  My sis-in-law was raving about a lingerie bag that she got and how much she used it when traveling so I decided to attempt to make one.  I went off a couple of esty ideas, various tutorials, and created my own interpretation.  Turned out pretty good, too bad I have to give it away!  And you know I'm a "one and only crafter" so I'll most likely never make one again.  I'd love to give you a step by step tutorial, but since I make up everything as I go, no such luck.  Its basically a two sided lined pouch. 

 One side for fresh undies- "wear me"

 and one side for worn undies- "wash me"

fold it in half and tie it up and there you go!

Monday, April 18, 2011

tin is in

I'd love to start a collection of these...

or these...

or even these.

 What is it about vintage tin that is so dang cute?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


After 2 weeks of patiently waiting for the runny noses to subside, the girls finally got to meet their newest cousin, little Skyla.  Ellie's prayers have been "Lord, please, please (with drama galore), just please Lord, help us get better so we can go to see baby Sklya. A-Men"  For a child who refused to pray for the first almost 4 years of her life, she has really got the pleading with the Lord thing down.  Notice no pic of Leighton with Skyla.  Mostly because all she wanted to do was try out all of Skyla's gear and yank the paci out of her mouth.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


My love for bagels goes back a long way.  Like 25 years long.

First there were Saturday morning dates with my dad to The Bagel Company, and the egg bagel toasted with butter that started the infatuation that has continued to this day.

Then it was blue on blue (code for a blueberry bagel with blueberry cream cheese) or straw on straw (again code- but I'm sure you can figure this one out now) at Fresno Bagel with all my high school girl friends (which we may or may not have ditched class for).  We frequented the place so often the owners knew us all and always said goodbye (in their Vietnamese accent) with a "check yo bag, make shu eversing is zare" Which meant- look for the extra 4-5 bagels in the bag that were on the house.

And then on to college where we were torn between Garden State Bagels and the newly opened (at the time) Einstein Bagels.  Garden State had the styrofoam cups for the Diet Coke that must always be included on a successful bagel run.  And any good soda lover knows styrafoam is the best way to down a big one, so Garden State often won out.  Although when we realized we were old enough to drink coffee, Einey's evened the score with a Starbucks next door. 

And on to the newlywed days when the Bagel Bar was an every Sunday after church stop with my sis-in-law.  The cinnamon sugar twists with plain cream cheese beat all.

I don't know if all girls have the love for bagels that I do, but it always seems the closest friends I have are part of the "I love bagel club" with me.  And that I like.  So with the newest best littlest girlfriends in my life, I must instill the same love for all things round and doughy, smothered in all things creamy and cheesy.  Here they are this morning...
 1/2 straw 1/2 plain on blue for Brooklyn

straw on blue for Ellie

Now, it may not have been as relaxing as the old days, and I may have had to scarf down my bagel with a baby balanced on my lap, but it was good, and I know in time we will be able to sit and chill and not worry about dropping our bagel smear side down on the sidewalk.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We swapped!

I've already unveiled the hoop I created for the fabulous hoop swap hosted by Heather at Life Made Lovely, but get a load of this.  My swapping partner was the lovely Gina, who I especially enjoyed getting to know through her blog.  I can't decide what I like more, the burlap (which I had never seen on a hoop before- and love!), the crochet beauties (which I have tried my hand at and failed miserably several times) or the simplicity of it all (I tend to be a simple gal you know).  Anyhoo, its found a perfect new home in my crafting/laundry room- thanks Gina!

Not just for sweaters...

 So the yarn wreath trend is carried on in our house.  
I was able to:
1.  avoid the carpel tunnel from all that winding (1 skein of yarn did the job)
2.  save a little $ by using a straw wreath instead of styrofoam
 (leave the plastic wrap on if you want to keep you house from looking like a barnyard)
3.  find a creative way of hanging the thing (flat lace tacked up by a fabric covered thumb tack)
4.  scrounge the supplies for the fabric flowers/leaves from my stash (felt rolled flowers, twisted felt flowers, crochet flower-made by a friend)

Now join the club and go make one of your own!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

the girl's bedroom is a changin'

The girls' room has been undergoing some changes...

which inevitably involve Craig's list, thrifting, spray painting,

 and a little crafting...more to come soon!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

mother of all orchids

You may remember my love of orchids.  I've had lots over the years, but none like this one.  The mother of all orchids has arrived.  And from none other than the orchid nurse herself.  A spray of 13 gorgeous blooms, each as big as a saucer (the picture doesn't do justice I tell you).  Just look at the intricacy of this bloom.

Stunning and amazing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

All work and no play?

What would you expect a kindergartner to do on her first day of Easter vacation?  Certainly is wouldn't be to wake up at 6:45 am begging her mom to schoolwork with her.  And then going on to complete over 100 pages in her workbook.  Don't worry, we also got in some hopscotch, a Barbie movie, and frozen yogurt too. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What's up doc?

Brooklyn's class had their "Resurrection Party" yesterday.  I was trying to think of something healthy, cheap, and cute to bring and this is what I came up with...

 A garden of carrots in a bed of hummus...
To make your own garden you need: 
a clay pot (the 6" pot fit the hummus conatainer perfectly)
a clay saucer
a bag of baby carrots
and a skewer (to make the holes).
Just cut the parsley into small sprigs, poke a hole in the end of each carrot with the skewer, and carefully push the parsley in.  You can also do individual gardens with the tiny clay pots and a 3 oz cup of hummus inside (didn't want to go there for 23 kids though)

It was a big hit for the kids and teachers.  Unfortunately not as big of a hit as these...

 the amazing mound of Easter donuts 
(I don't blame them, you know I would choose them over hummus any day!)

I loved hearing the kids sing their hearts out...

 and Brooklyn made her debut and the narrator of the Chicken Little play.

And now, off to two weeks of vacation!  Yeah!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hoop Art Swap

I've put all those thrift store threads and hoops to use and finally finished my hoop for the Hoop Art Swap


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Her's Tired

This is what happens around noon when you stop taking morning naps.  Isn't life exhausting?
PS- Does anyone else's grandma say things like, "her's tired' 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Play Dough

Some moms love play-dough... making their own dough, allowing kids complete freedom of artistic expression with it, using all the overpriced play-dough accessories.  Others are deathly afraid of it...the mess, the way it becomes food, the mess, the inevitable dry out, the mess, the color mixing, the mess.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  As long as its over tile or outside, I'm good.  Ive discovered kids have a play-dough spectrum as well.  Brooklyn was the queen of the dough.  She could play for hours, never had to be told not to eat it and never mixed colors.  She would have fits when friends would come over and mix colors, like they were breaking an unpardonable  play-dough law.  Ellie was at the opposite end for quite some time.  She ate play-dough for years.  Nothing I tried could keep it out of her mouth.  And she was the mix master.  Every dough in our beautiful collection slowly morphed into the ominous brown.  And this week, Leighton joined in.  As soon as she felt the squish between her fingers she grinned and said a big "thank you".  She seemed to enjoy it but as soon as she slipped a piece into her mouth she said, "all done" and wanted it out of her way.  Wonder what she'll do when I give her 2 colors?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Niecey

We apparently can't get enough girls around here..
just look at the adorable addition to the all girls club...
Skyla June my newest niece.