Royal Recap

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I couldn't have watched the Royal Wedding and not do a proper write-up. The Brits really showed how to do it up and do it right, didn't they? The pomp and circumstance, the Abbey, morning coats, dresses, hats, crowds cheering and waving the Union Jack, even the rain decided to hold off for a moment - all made for good t.v.

As for Kate, her dress was lovely. It was perfect for marrying a Prince. It was also reminiscent of Grace Kelly's wedding gown which was classic and romantic. My favorite part of the day was where Prince William whispered, "You look beautiful" to his bride. I mean, who doesn't want to hear that?

I thought William and Harry looked great and enjoyed seeing them interact. It seemed as if Harry was trying to lighten up a bit of a nervous William. It's understandable, I'd be nervous if 3 billion people were watching my every move on one of the most important days of my life too.

Now you can't mention the wedding without commenting on some of the hats. It was specifically stated on the invitations that women must wear them.

There were all shapes and sizes, some of them I would categorize as headpieces or satellite dishes rather than hats.

Tara Palmer -Tomkinson's electric blue hat seemed to be one of the favorites of on-lookers.(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore a rosette spray on the side. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's wife Miriam wore what they said looked to be Flamenco-inspired. (Alastair Grant/AP Photo)

I think Spain's Princess Letizia, who wore a pink tulle-topped hat, got it right. Queen Sofia and Prince Felipe always look great. Growing up, we kinda liked Spain in my house. (Martin Meissner/AP Photo)

I also liked Victoria Beckham's hat but wished David had donned his top-hat rather than hold it.

Even the on-lookers made their own creations.

So as you could see there were all kinds. Some would even go as far as saying they were rather Octopus-like, inspired by Lady Gaga more so than Milliner Philip Treacy. This one of Princess Beatrice's even has it's own Facebook page. But, I can't give her a failing grade because having the guts to try is an A in my book. And she shouldn't worry, Americans have had their own misses when it comes to hats, a la Aretha.

But sometimes they are cute as can be. Here a young-er Belen and Charley are wearing two of my favorite hats. I usually sport them in summer and go for simple, simple. No feathers or solar panels on this head. (pointing to myself)

Besides, I think she redeemed herself at the evening reception looking pretty great in silver.

Now - Let's hope the royal couple is off to wedded bliss.


When life gives you lemons, make a souffle

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A while back as I was decorating a scrumptious chocolate cake, one of my kids remarked that they couldn't wait until we cut into it. I told them that it was for another family but I would make them one sometime. Later I questioned myself on why I reserve making the good desserts for others and just rely on the old standards for my family, if at all?
The answer is possibly that if I do make a big dessert, Jon and I will likely eat a lot of it which is not so good for our waistlines. So I opt for quick, easy and not so sweet.

My dad would commission my sister and me to make treats for him due to his big sweet tooth. We'd pull out the mixer, the cookie press and whatever else we needed and went to town. My sister was really the expert and I just followed along but I enjoyed making up creations.

Every time I mention the things we used to bake, Jon remarks that seeing is believing. So with that, I decided I should try a little harder in the area of making something fun just once a week. I wouldn't want them to get their hopes up for divine desserts or anything.

Since I purchased a bunch of lemons for just a buck at the Farmer's market and we love most anything lemon, I decided to make Little Lemon Souffles baked right in the lemon itself.

It was fun and they turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.
So now we'll have to see what I come up with next week. Time to go pull out the cookbooks...

Have a good weekend!

(By the way, did you watch the Royal Wedding??)

What I'm thinking Wednesday

This morning as I was running some errands, I stopped by a store for a brief moment. When I walked up to the cash register I noticed a sign taped to the check-writing platform that said, "Please be patient with me, I am hard of hearing."

I wondered if there were people who had not been patient with her. Obviously there had which prompted the sign or someone anticipated that type of behavior and was taking a preventative measure.

It kind of saddened me. I thought it was a sad commentary on human behavior. We're so busy, rushing here and there and so far into the digital age, have we forgotten how to connect on personal levels?

And then I also wondered what kind of people would not give this sweet, older lady, probably some one's beloved grandma, the benefit of the doubt in this situation? I imagined if those people had a sign to tape up, what would it say?

Which in turn got me thinking about myself and what sign I would have with me, maybe taped to my forehead, for people to read.

Would it be kind? Funny? Would it be insightful to my personality? Would people read it and treat me differently? Would they be sympathetic? Would people say, " that explains a lot."
I think today's would be, "It's the weather. Duh, you think I would intentionally do this to my hair??"

I think we all have stories to tell and maybe some warnings too. Some are good, some bad and some are not necessarily for the masses but if you wanted people to know one thing about you, what would your sign say?

How now Sal Val

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I met up with some friends at the SalVal's (Salvation Army) Anniversary sale last Saturday- 50% off everything. It was pouring down rain but that didn't stop the crowd.
There was not a single cart to be found so I had to haul this cute little mid-century nightstand across the store. But at only $7.50 it was worth lugging around.

On the way home I decided to go by Saturday's farmers and flea market where I picked up some of the weekend's fresh produce - for just 5 bucks. Gotta love my Amish farmers. I looked around the flea market for a little bit but nothing really interested me there so I headed home.

But THEN, just as I was almost home, I passed a big yard sale at a local business. So, I turned around and went back. Walking up to the first table, nothing really caught my eye until I looked down right next to where I was standing and then a big grin crept upon my face. It was a perma-smile really. I'm actually smiling right now as I type this recalling that moment. Perma smile I tell you.

I saw this vintage laundry basket. It was folded up but I knew what is was since I have been wanting one for a looonnnng time, like years! And then the seller walked up behind me and said it was just FIVE DOLLARS. I about flipped out but I didn't show it. Although, she could probably tell when I happily skipped back to the car not noticing the mud puddle in my path...

If I would have arrived just 5 minutes later and saw someone else holding it in their hands, it would have been an enTIREly different scene. You would've seen a grown woman cry and fling herself on the table, yelling, "Why? Why?" like the infamous Kerrigan knee-clubbing incident of 1994. It would've been ugly.

Thank goodness luck was on my side that day. Thanks luck. I owe you one.

Have you found anything you have been wanting for a while?

For you

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter from our house to yours.

Have a beautiful day.

The egg diorama - an Easter/Spring craft

Friday, April 22, 2011

After some drying time, the first two little egg dioramas are complete but they are not so little after all. I plan on hanging them from the light over the dinner table as the Easter centerpiece.

For the supplies I used 7 inch balloons and made a mixture of paste by using one part flour to 5 parts water. I also sprinkled in some salt thinking that may help avoid any mold.

I boiled it to get a nice smooth consistency, like that of Cream of Wheat, and then let it cool a bit. Using book pages and tissue paper, I cut strips and squares and just dipped the paper into the "glue" and pasted it to the balloon, over and over, until it was covered and set it on a jar to dry. It was fun being a 2nd grader again and dipping my hands into paper mache.

After it was dry, I cut an opening which was my favorite part because of the hissing noises the balloon made when it popped and shrunk. Reese and I laughed about that - simple pleasures you know.

I trimmed it with paper as well as glued a decorative paper to the inside (back) of the egg to make it look like wallpaper. The nest was made by adding Easter basket grass and moss. But I felt that it was still a little bland. These are stylish chicks after all so I styled their house with a framed picture and/or wall sconce and a chandelier made from an old earring.

The next one will have to be more masculine so I'm thinking a bachelor pad style birdhouse with sticks and maybe even a velvet Elvis and mini fridge!

By poking a hole through the top and simply twisting a wire to form an "eye," the ribbon could hang easily from it.

And now I sound like Barry, Steve Carell's character in "Dinner for Schmucks.
Oh well, I'm a schmuck who just impressed the heck out of her kids. These were a trial run for me so the kids get to make their own tomorrow. I'm sure theirs will be even better.

Thanks for letting me share and humoring me!

Craft paper scalloped edge and tissue paper ribbon.

Crepe paper Cherry blossoms

Have a great day and an even better Easter weekend!


Linking to

A day out and the beginning of an Easter craft

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Since it was a half day at school and my oldest was at home, I got to go out all by myself - woot!

What did I do?? Manicure?? Nope, not into those. Although, I have taken my girls but I think it's a waste of money for me. Movie?? Nope, not this time. As my friend said, "go to Jon's hotel, take a dip in the jacuzzi and take a nap?"
Nope, I wish. It's a good idea though!

I decided a little grocery shopping and a trip to my favorite antique mall was in order. Yes, I am that exciting! I am preparing for the kids' Easter baskets so some chocolate bunnies and other goodies needed to be purchased as well as all the boring staples and such.

Because I was working on paper mache eggs last night, I was trying to find some of those old chenille chicks to put in them which is where the antique shop came in today. Talk about looking for a needle in a haystack.

Luckily, sellers always have displays of Easter smalls around this time and I thought I just might find the chicks if I were lucky. I am a quick searcher at places like that so the very first booth I went to had a few that would do.

Now they just need to hurry up and dry - one more night should do it and then they'll be all purdied up.

Waiting to dry

A few cute chicks.

Let's hope they turn out like I have envisioned.

Have a good day!

A hoot of a gift

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'm trying to get back on track with posting. It's been really busy around these parts. Forgive me. I'm not always able to juggle it all, at least not very well. So let me get back on track by showing you the sweetest thing sitting in my office.

Have you ever received a gift from someone that simply surprised you, not only by the gift itself, but by the thought behind it? That happened to me recently.

My friend Solviej (pronounced Sole-vye, vye as in "bye") surprised me with a birthday gift: An owl pillow she knitted and sewed herself. Isn't he darling? She used cream and blue yarn as well as blue and brown felt. I am always amazed at handcrafted gifts and think of them as some of my greatest treasures.

I love my owl.
Unfortunately, so do my kids and I keep having to look in their rooms to see who has taken him. They hear me yell from down the hall, "Has anyone seen my owl??" and someone will point me in the right direction. One of these days I expect to get a ransom note for candy.

I'm so glad Solviej started a craft blog to showcase her handmade goods. I've been hoping she would do that since she is very talented. She can whip up hats and scarves like nobody's business. You can also find her here.

Besides the gift, the best thing about friends is they get you.

Have a great day! We're off to a well-baby about you?

The art of reflection - mirrors and questions

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I have been searching for that mirror - the ornate and maybe slightly gaudy one to put on the wall that we have been working on. It will hang nearer to the bottom of the stairs and closer to the door for that last minute check.

Near completion!

And after all my searching, still no luck. So until I find that perfect one, I decided to look at what I had on hand which was an old frame. Then I decided to go to the thrift shop one more time and that's when I spotted the biggie. I can always have a mirror cut to fit any of these. I may have to slightly age the sides of the mirror but that's down the road.

The choices

The large frame and the gold one are my thrift store finds. ($22.00 & $2.97) The one in the middle was my mom's that held her wedding portrait. (priceless) I really think the large one is too big for the space so it's probably between the smaller two. Wouldn't the large one make a great pin board? I'm thinking so.

I enjoy details.

Or maybe I should forget both of those and just stick with the good old sunburst mirror?

You can help -Which would you use?

linking to Just a Girl

What's on my mind Wednesday

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together,

like family dinner and family home evening and by just having fun together."

In family relationships

love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time.

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Friday fire

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

With friends we

-watched our food get cooked up all samurai like with sharp knives and fire -

-Dined on a little sushi too -

-did the wave around the table -

-talked about lots of stuff-

-laughed about lots of stuff-

-Ate a twinkie for the first time after a friend remembered I had never had one

and surprised me with it-

had a good time


Coming up this week:

The entry wall reveal

A new owl

Thrifting around town


Thrifty finds and another project

Friday, April 8, 2011

My mission while out thrift shopping was to find a gaudy and ornate mirror. The first one I saw was too big for the space and the next was too small. A trip to the local Goodwill put me within reach of one that was juuust right. Unfortunately, someone had the same mission and set it aside on the counter while they shopped. Oh, how it tormented me.

But spotting this solid {heavy} alabaster cake stand made up for that miss. Almost. I love the pedestal and veining.
Since I was in the area I drove down to one of my favorite antique malls even with a 5 and almost 3 year-old in tow. That can be dicey but they managed to keep their hands off of most things. And thankfully the shop owner wasn't phased by them.
There I found a cute vintage anagram game with a ton of tiles and a hat for Blair to play dress up or days she wants to wear it to a soccer game, like yesterday or maybe it'll be her choice as an Easter bonnet.

I also spotted a chevron patterned wooden box on a shelf. It was holding papers and postcards so I emptied it hoping to find a price inside. Sure enough I did and that seller's whole booth was 40% off - my lucky day...with the exception of that blasted mirror...

Waiting at home for me was another chevron patterned item, only a little larger in scale.
I've been wanting to do this since I saw it on HGTV's Design Star a while back. I'm finally getting around to it and am hoping to finish it up today. It's not that big of a wall but it is time consuming and involves math. Math!

My mom would be so proud that I am using geometry, even if it is with painter's tape. I know it doesn't look that hard but this takes surgical precision here! Or something like it. Maybe it just takes a glutton for punishment. That's me.

So that's a round up of the latest thrifty purchases. Have you found anything lately?

Tomorrow I may hit the flea market in search of the mirror. Wish me luck!

Have a good weekend!

Work, play and patching walls.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The other day Spring popped out it's head from the rain soaked earth. It was just for a moment but I didn't let the moment pass. Especially not when I have spring fever and have been dying to get out into the yard.

So we were out playing and cleaning up the back 40. Not really, more like the back 1/2 but it feels like 40 after filling up 8 lawn bags full of sticks and leaves. I also got out the power saw and cut up a large branch that fell in the last heavy wind. It was fun but I was very careful, making sure I didn't amputate anything. This girl is not afraid of power tools.

And since the rain is back for a few more days which I must say, does make for a cozy indoor feeling, I am doing some caulking action on the stairs and am working on patching the oops on the wall of the boys' bedroom.

It's not the most exciting picture in the world but it's proof that the job is coming along. I placed a mesh patch over the top of the hole, troweled on some compound and let it dry. Easy easy. The hardest part is painting over it with a satin finish paint. Satin doesn't let you blend in very well like a semi-gloss but it's the only thing I use on 35 year-old walls. After it dries I'll go over it again to touch up and feather it out a little. And then the art wall can go back up and hide the not so perfect but "better done than perfect" patch job. And I'm still thinking about that library assignment I told you about but I think I've got on to the craft store to check out some supplies and I may just have a mock up to show you in a day or two, or three...
Is there anything that you're catching up on this week?

Everyday life

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring cleaning week has begun. So has a crafty week. I don't like the term crafty but I don't know what else to call it. I'm working on a few things for a library display and so far NOT so good. This weekend I'll revise some things and hopefully I'll produce something for them. I'll show you what I've done when I know what it will be. It's nothing big. I was just assigned to make some things out of paper. I have a few things in my mind but if you have any ideas, let me know!

Last Saturday we took a bunch of clothes to the laundromat to get it all done in one fell swoop. Sometimes I just like to do that rather than spending all day processing laundry at home. It also made it easier to go through and donate the clothes that we haven't worn in a while. And it was a bonus sending them out freshly cleaned. I was able to stuff two bags full and am working on the third. The toys will be heading out tomorrow. There is more to do. Isn't there always?

I am in the process of taking down every decorative accent and putting it all in a box so I could start decorating fresh for spring and summer in the living room again. Some of the items may make their way out and some may not. I'm thinking of having a swap sometime in late Spring or early summer, like a free tag sale.

Our friends from Florida came in for a quick visit on their way back from Martha's Vineyard. We love visiting with them. They are both really witty and keep us laughing. We were together with them in Texas when the guys were in the Army. They are one of the few friend couples we have that have known us since before we had kids and vice-versa. So it's fun to see our families and talk about some good days. We always wish we lived closer but at least we're on the same coast.

And today Blair went to her first official tea party. Not the political one. A real girl's only, fancy shmancy tea with nutella & peanut butter sandwiches, grapes, scrumptious cupcakes and strawberry milk. She has been talking about it non-stop since and is even wearing her dress. I think she is planning on wearing it to bed. And maybe even the flower hat she made.

Have a good weekend! See you next week with hopefully more interesting happenings...