Thursday, June 30, 2011

Do you have favorite words?

As a kid I used to read the dictionary hoping to become a spelling bee champion. And then I was in one and purposely misspelled a word when I got nervous. I thought it would be better to intentionally misspell rather than actually misspell, somehow that would have been less embarrassing? A 5th grader's train of thought is my only defense.

So some of my favorites are: ameliorate, shenanigan, meander, hippopotamus, waft, ineffable, foliage, facetious, drift, fetching, dashing and awesomesauce.

I also like the way my kids say words which I don't correct because I enjoy hearing them so much and know they'll figure it out eventually. Like the way Blair says "Avopacado" for Avocado. I think it sounds better her way.

I don't know why I like my words- they are just fun to say. I mean, can you not say shenanigan and awesomesauce without smiling?? I can't.

Word up.

Shared space

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I am taking a break from working on the boys' room today.

Having two boys share a room can be challenging in many ways. Besides the space challenge or when one doesn't want the other there, another challenge is trying to incorporate both of their "likes" which vary when you are six years apart. Reese is pretty specific on what he wants to display while Trae is just happy to be there and allowed on the top bunk from time to time.

Lately, Reese and Trae both like Bay Blade toys although I am not up to decorating a whole room with them. A bucket full on the dresser is good enough. It is fun to hear Trae ask Reese to battle with him, though.

So, I am taking down all of their things, setting them on the floor and choosing what is staying. While I am at it, I am tackling the closet which is another day of work.

Reese likes his pennants and vintage paint-by-numbers paintings (yay!) but is on the fence about his Little Wonder Books tin box. We'll see how it works out. All I know right now is that they have too many toys and clothes so we'll be taking a trip to the donation bin.


Monday, June 27, 2011

While I was at girl's camp working from sun up to sun set and wishing for a little break from the humidity, (you should have seen my hair! If you're familiar with the "Friends" episode where Monica's hair keeps getting bigger and bigger in the humidity - it was like that.)

my older brother, Brett, was snorkeling from sun up to sun set in Maui.
He always was a lucky sucker.

Blooming success

It's safe to say that I don't have the greenest thumb in the world. Last year I considered myself lucky to have gotten a few roses out of the yard before the aphids went to town on them.

Just before I left for girl's camp, I had one lonely rose on the rosebush so I cut it, brought it in and gave it a little place of honor in the round glass beaker I bought at a yard sale. The rest of the shrub was not looking so well. Parts of it had died and I figured it was time to pull it up and start over.

When I returned from camp, I went to check out how overgrown the garden was (a lot) but then I noticed the rose bush finally had a growth spurt and there were even a few other floral surprises.

So today I get to enjoy flowers around the house for free.
It's going to be a good Monday.

Vintage beaker as a vase- $2.00, yard sale
milk glass compote to hold a bloom - .25 cents, thrift shop

Paint stick pendant light - complete, DIY

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The light is finally finished.

While I was away at girl's camp, I was surprised to come home to my paint stick pendant light making the rounds on the Internet. Jason Loper's write-up over at Apartment Therapy kind of got it noticed. Big thanks to him! He sent me a nice e-mail to let me know so then I couldn't wait to get home and read it and then get back to the business of finishing this project.

But before I get to the final product, let me share some details. (You can reference the beginning process here.)

At first I had planned on using the existing light fixture and just give it a new coat of paint. But after looking it over, it wasn't in good enough shape. So we bought a pendant with a downrod but it was not the right length- too long with three extensions and too short with two.

Knowing we had to customize it, we also purchased connectors and a decorative chain. I wanted the downrod but also wanted to give it some sway just in case a ball is launched around the house and hits the light. A scenario like that is inevitable, especially with a bunch of kids.

Because we couldn't find the exact type of connectors we needed to connect the rod to the chain, we took apart the existing fixture and used those. It worked like a charm.
After piecing it all together and with Jon's trusty wiring job, we stood back to admire our handiwork.

Using the "decorative" end of the paint stick on the bottom of the shade gives it more detail, and we knew the light would look cool coming through. Because of their slightly rounded edges it also gives more of a finished look than the other end of the paint sticks would have given.

Now it's in place and we love it.

linking to Just a Girl

The Lettered Cottage

Fingerprints on the Fridge

As you read this

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'll be out of the office and into the wilderness, enjoying some good old camping fun.

When I get back I'll start working on a project involving these pallets that I hauled home from the side of the road where they had a big free sign on them. They were stacked about 12 high and the grey ones that I wanted were, of course, down about 5 pallets. Let's just say I got a good workout that morning.

See you next week!

Home life

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On the Saturday before Father's Day we always have a scavenger hunt for Jon but because of all the happenings over the weekend we decided to wait until next week. I'll be sure to tell you what we do because they are always fun and create lots of memories for us. So this weekend we were on the go - here's the recap.

Girl's camp is soon approaching so we spent the weekend in prep for that. On a whim, Jon and I threw together a garage sale on Saturday and Reese and Blair wanted a sno-cone stand, so we set that up which was a big hit. I see more of those in our future Saturdays. Note to self: buy more blue raspberry syrup.

Belen was asked to speak on Perseverance at one of her best friend's surprise birthday dinner, which she said, was a wonderful experience.

Charley had play practice for the stage show, "Footloose." She is really excited for it but bummed also because she was cast as an adult who opposes dancing. She wanted to be part of that 80's teen angst and dance! I can't say that I blame her...

After seeing creative cupcakes all over the place, I wanted to get in on the action and make cupcake hamburgers (which look more like sliders) for Father's Day. I stole the idea from Cupcakes take the cake and Bakerella. I baked all day. The Twin Kiss restaurant, which is a local burger, shakes and fries place, was so nice to give me the french fry baskets. The basket completes the meal, I mean, dessert, don't you think?

And then at the end of the day, I found a little reminder from Trae-man when I opened up the fridge. It gave me a huge smile and so I left them there for someone else to enjoy the same surprise.
It was a reminder that through all of the craziness of life and the work that goes into raising children -special moments like these give me pause to be thankful and provide a little more energy to do it all again tomorrow.

Happy Father's Day!

See you next week.

Friday finds

Friday, June 17, 2011

For a while, I've been scouring thrift shops for that ornate and, ok, slightly gaudy mirror I needed for the entry way. I had a few options with some frames I had on hand but needed to have a mirror cut to fit. Knowing I probably wouldn't get around to doing that anytime soon, I waited.
The waiting finally paid off when I stopped by the Goodwill and found this mirror for $1.99. It was a dull, dark gold color until I used Rub 'n Buff in Gold Leaf to spruce it up.

I stopped by a garage sale on a whim on the way home from taking the kids to school. Fridays are the big garage sale days around here. So the .50 cent owl who lost it's top is put to good use on the craft table. I'm debating on whether to spray him some other color.

I like anything in galvanized metal so when I spotted this minnow bucket for only $2.00, it came home with me.

And now it holds only plants, no minnows.

Under $5.00 and happy.

Linking to: Remodelaholic

Chubby Cheeks thinks

Funky Junk Interiors

Fingerprints on the Fridge

Picnic and a paint stick pendant update

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On the day before school ended, the third grade classes (2) held magic shows and a picnic for the parents. It was a perfect day - no humidity. The school provided a picnic lunch and we sat under a big shade tree enjoying all of the excited talk among the kids.

We played a game of kickball, parents vs kids and can you guess who won? The parents kicked farther but they have younger legs and can catch better!

I was all set to video Reese's magic trick but then he called me up to be his assistant so there's no footage. I'll have to videotape him and upload it because it's really a pretty good trick and he practiced so much.

Good-bye 3rd grade. We'll see you in a few years.

On a side note: the paint stick pendant light will soon be put into place. I've primed and painted the underside so it went from this

to this.

After testing 3 stain colors, I've found the one we could all agree on so that will be done today. Jon and the kids' input is important to me since we'll all be looking at this light everyday.

I already have another project in mind with the paint sticks so it's back to the paint desk I go...

**Stay tuned for Friday Finds tomorrow - total spent, $5 buckaroos!**

Lavender harvest and sugar scrubs

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

As you brush by the lavender in the garden, a light scent of the flowers fill the air. I've always wanted to have a field of lavender, if for nothing else, the color.
I want them to grow more full and lush next year so I cut them back and harvested a portion over the weekend.
After cutting, I began to wonder what I was going to do with them so they wouldn't go to waste.
I've dried them to use as scented drawer liners and have tossed them into lemon cookies.

But this time I thought I'd whip up some sugar scrub. It was quick and easy and the best part, inexpensive. I used a small jar to make an amount that we could easily use so there was really no measuring.

I just poured regular sugar into the jar and added some olive oil. After doing that, I remembered that I still had coconut oil from making lip balm with the girls, so I added a few dollops of that as well as a dash of vanilla extract.

The coconut tamed the olive oil and by infusing some lavender, it added another layer of scent. Having an aversion to strong smells, especially highly perfumed ones, I don't use a lot of perfumes. This all blended nicely creating a mild, yet "fresh" scent as quoted by my husband.

After stirring to get a consistency that I liked which was not too dry but not too watery either, (Sorry, I am so not scientific!) in about 5 minutes, I had my own sugar scrub.

I tested it out on my hands and arms and loved the scent. I also like the way it left my skin glistening. My little girl loved the scent also so she tried it and asked if her hands were going to smell that good forever. When I said no, she said, "Darn!" So I guess it's a hit.

Try some of your own today!

Have a great day - it's the last day of school for us.

I'm so happy that I get a break from driving back and forth everyday to 3 different schools, all at different times, for a while!

Weekend walk

Monday, June 13, 2011

It was a packed weekend but The Relay for Life event was a success. We enjoyed making a (small) contribution by working the concession stand for our team a little while on Saturday and walking the track in the middle of the night.


I took this picture at last year's race. Our leg of the relay was at 2 am this year so I didn't have my camera this time around but it looked exactly the same.


Jon and the kids

There were plenty of kid's games to keep them entertained and we came home with armfuls of stuffed animals.

Blair won

And this event, which is just one from all around the country, raised over $138,000.00.

I think we'll be with this team for a long time. Our part was very small compared to so many others who began organizing months and months ahead of time. But it's nice to be a part of it no matter what. I am thinking of creating a team for the event that is held right in my town. It takes a lot of time and commitment but I'm hoping that we can start something and have ourselves a little booth. Baby steps.

Eyebrows in question

Friday, June 10, 2011

We just happened to be goofing around and now I have a recent snapshot with the eyebrows in question!

Every time I go get my haircut, I am asked if I want to have my eyebrows waxed and every time I say, "No thanks."

Do you think they are trying to tell me something?

Come on, at least they are not this bad. I think birds could build a nest in there.

Have a good weekend!

***I will be at the Relay for Life event tonight and tomorrow for The American Cancer Society. My father died of Cancer at the young age of 61 so this is a personal event for me.

This is our second year with this team headed up by the the best coordinator ever, Annie Sierer. Last year our team recieved the most money raised award, largely due to her efforts.

If any of you are in the area, we will be at Lower Dauphin Highschool in Hummelstown/Hershey. Kickoff begins at 4 pm today and runs all day Saturday, June 11. Bring the kids for all kinds of fun and goodies at the booths. You can even get a Pickle-on-a-stick! Our leg of the race is at 2 am and will also be working the concession stand tomorrow.

I will be the one with the bushy eyebrows...

Stir sticks - not just for paint anymore, DIY pendant light

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Take an old thrift store lampshade and a million paint stir sticks

And make a new pendant light (Still needs a coat of stain and new electrical. The shade is just resting on the half wall to give me an idea of how it will look when it's in place. The chain is giving the illusion that it's hanging. )

Okay it was more like 42 stir sticks but who's counting? Probably the paint desk people. When I asked if they sold them in bulk, they answered, "No, take as many as you want." I told them I needed a lot and they said, "Go on, go ahead, take a bunch."

So they gave me a a lot and I pretended I didn't notice they were looking at me funny. I always asked. A friend of mine is a manager there and asked her manager if I could have some and they said no problem and to shoot them an email with the finished product. 

I'm sure there is a picture of me behind the desk warning the clerks of the lady with a stir stick fetish. No fetish, just an idea I had to see through.
(But if you've ever worked retail there are those notes behind the desk of serial returners, bad check writers, irate customers and other types...)

Anyway, I have had this idea on my mind since I saw something like it on HGTV about 3 or 4 years ago. And when I found this huge lampshade, I knew what I wanted to do with it. Then I made a mistake by dismantling it and couldn't put it back together correctly even after several attempts.

So, I found another shade ($2.00) which was smaller but left it intact and just hot glued the stir sticks to the outside, adjusting each one in order for the sticks to go around as straight as possible. If you don't allow a little space between each, the sticks will begin to slant and you won't have an even edge.

After I give it a coat of stain (since the stir sticks are made out of wood) and prime and paint the underside so the logo doesn't show, she will be ready to put into place. Again, for the picture, it is just resting on the half wall to give an idea of how it might look when hung in place. I am using the existing light fixture in the entrance so it will need to be replaced as well (see 1st picture) and then I can finally see how this will all turn out and you'll be the next to know. So check back soon. Hopefully it'll be up later this week.


**And now it's finished and is in place. You can see it here.

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