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Got your party hats?

Saturday, December 31, 2011



We are so looking forward to a brand new year, are you? I think it's going to be a fun one. Jon and I have dubbed it our "break out" year.

No matter what, we always manage to have fun but honestly, for us, 2011 just had one too many stresses. We're all for bidding it adieu and kicking it to the curb.
Here's to a fun celebration tonight and a shiny, prosperous, healthy new year!

Thanks for reading along. You are the best!

Joy for every girl and boy

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lots to tell this week, but first, scenes from a Christmas morning.











Complete with carolers

Last minute flowers

Friday, December 23, 2011



The good thing about being a last-minute Christmas shopper is that most everything is on sale. Last night Jon and I went shopping and most of the items were a quick & easy find as well. There was only 1 thing that we couldn't find but made a suitable substitute. And because of the sales, we came in under budget. Me likey.
We even scored a deal on our tree because we were late getting that up to. There's a silver lining everywhere.

Poinsettia's were all discounted as well so I brought one home and plopped it into a McCoy thrift store pot. I felt bad that they were looking on the droopy side. Although I love red, which is one of my favorite colors, I decided to go with the creamy white/yellow. I figured if I can keep it alive all year, that color would work through all the seasons. Has anyone ever kept their Poinsettia all year?

Maybe if I get this pot, or create one like it, it might have more of a reason to live. Cute isn't it?




Wreath rescue

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I really haven't done much for Christmas by way of decorating this year. Time just escaped us. But we did put up the tree and opted for a smaller one this year so the ornaments would stand out a bit more. Next year I'm going back to a larger one since it is now overpowered. I said I wasn't going to buy any this year, but I lied. I bought a few.

I still need to get the kids their ornaments for 2011. I add one every year for each of them so that one day I can present them with their box of childhood ornaments for a tree of their own.

Since I didn't make a swag from the branches that we cut from the tree, I needed a wreath for the door. A quick trip to a thrift store did the trick. I picked up a sad, misshapen wreath for $3.00.

Aww, poor thing.

After de-thrift store-ing it, it looked good as new.

Using what I had on hand, I grabbed some ribbon, a pick that I use on Christmas packages and a pair of old child's skates that I bought at a flea market for a dollar.
After 5 minutes and a little tying here and there, I had a simple, vintage wreath.


The End

A weekend away

Monday, December 19, 2011

An anniversary weekend in DC...


On Friday night we went to dinner at the Rio Grande. Just Jon and me.


I was smitten with the oversized pottery there. Oh and the food was good too.
Saturday morning we bundled the kids up, hopped on the Metro and went to see the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington and to watch the changing of the guard. They were mesmerized. We all were.

Trae at the eternal flame where he jumped the chain and tried to make a beeline for the fire.
Saturday afternoon (our anniversary) we shipped the kids back to the hotel and Jon took me to the National Gallery and the Hirshhorn. I was in heaven. I had a perma smile the whole time we were in the Gallery. This is the only DaVinci in the Western Hemisphere.

At The Hirshhorn we saw the Andy Warhol Shadows exhibit. That was pretty cool too. Some of the other sculptures and art, we deemed, were done on some bad acid trips.

Afterward we went to a street vendor, ordered hot dogs and pretzels and toasted ourselves to 18 years.

Some others paintings I liked:
Snow in New York, American, 1902
Agostina, French, 1866. I love her.

Jon admiring some work. I love him.

The Beach at Villerville, French, 1864


The Bedroom, Dutch, 1658-1660
3 year-old view, American, 2011

Out with the old...armoire

Thursday, December 15, 2011



I am sitting amidst a ton of stuff.

I recently sold this armoire. Well, gave it away is more like it. Every craft item, fabric scrap and yardage, buttons, frames, vintage paper, other ephemera and memorabilia that was housed within it is now sitting on the floor.

I hated to part with it but after much consideration, I really didn't need it anymore. When I weighed what kind of family heirlooms really matter to me, it's not the furniture so much. I have other things that 1) take up less room and 2) bring me more happiness to look at, feel and remember where it came from and how my mom displayed or used them.

It will also be easier to pass those things along to my kids. And honestly, antique furniture will always be up for grabs. They seem to have about a 7 year cycle or so. But my grandma's candy dish she received as a wedding present will not be something that can be replaced. Those are the heirlooms that matter most to me.

As for the armoire, it has a new home in a Pennsylvania farmhouse getaway just waiting for guests to hang their clothes for a weekend's stay. And I couldn't be happier about that. Now all of the items that I have to figure out what to do with, well, that's another story.

Print away

Monday, December 12, 2011

An unusually busy week left me with little time to get to anything that I wanted to do. This week I am looking forward to actually bringing in some Christmas flair to the house. I remember when I used to bring out all the boxes after Thanksgiving dinner and we'd decorate all night. Time this year has escaped us.

I bought a wreath for the door the other day and when Trae saw it, he screamed, "Mom, there's a Christmas ring in the back seat!!" They are ready for the festivities to begin so I'm setting aside today to get things going. They are so patient with me.

I have lots to tell but Christmas decorating beckons. So in the meantime, enjoy this site of free printables! They come in rather handy, enjoy!

Advice to avoid, #1

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Right after I had my 1st baby, I was told that I should probably cut my hair to a short length because I wouldn't have time to get ready, much less tend to a long hair style with a new baby in the house.

I thought they were crazy.  And the thought of cutting my hair off gave me flashbacks to the time when there was a little miscommunication with a hair stylist I saw in 7th grade. She took my hair from "just over the shoulders" with those feathered sides to just over my ears, in a short layered look. Everyone said I looked like Paul McCartney.


Anyway...I wondered how in the world a baby could take up sooo much time that basic personal hygiene would be tossed out the window. It's not like a shower and washing & drying your hair takes hours upon hours. Start to finish - maybe 45 minutes, tops? And as I found out, there was always plenty of time to get ready for the day even without going short. And the baby - she just hung out with me, smiling and cooing the whole time and hummed along with the dryer.

So, avoid the advice that you'll never have time to get ready in the morning once kids come and you should cut your hair all off so you don't need to spend time on it. Not true. Some of your best hair days are yet to be.

The color of 2012

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tangerine Tango is the official new color for 2012.
I like it.
But I bought a big flower pin in Texas earlier this year in the same color
so credit goes to Texas for being ahead of the fashion game.






images: Forever 21 and H&M

When a simple project goes wrong

Tuesday, December 6, 2011



So a simple, 30 minute project blew up in our face over the weekend. Does that ever happen to you?

I was at the computer finishing up some photo editing when Jon started looking in the tool/home improvement closet. Then a few minutes later he asked me to open the front door and up the stairs he came with the old bathroom sink and vanity. I thought this was super cool. I was going to have my nice, new vanity installed. I was glad this was going so quickly because I still needed to get ready for our dinner out with friends.

He called me in to take a look at the vanity and its placement. It was a go. So he began to drill into the wall, using the template left by the old cabinet. The vanity wasn't sitting right because nothing in this house is square so he made an adjustment and started to attach the vanity to the wall again. Suddenly, we heard a hissing sound as if we just disturbed a snake living in the wall. The sound was fairly soft and then became increasingly loud.

Our realization was reached at the same time: We just drilled right into the water line.

Jon bounded into the other room to shut off the water. Unfortunately when the room was carpeted, the door to the water valve was obstructed by the thick carpet. So Jon had to break the door to get to it. Finally it was shut off and we began to assess the new problem.

But in order to do that correctly, half of the wall had to come down. So while he made a trip to buy plumbing supplies at True Value, yours truly got to the demo. With every hit of the hammer against the wall, I was thinking that a labor intensive drywall project was now planned for sometime during my busiest week yet. Luckily, that thought restrained me from taking down the whole wall which I had ripped up and cleaned before he returned.

After a few hours of watching and helping Jon re-work the plumbing, I was finally able to get into the shower and to our friend's house by 6:45 so all was well. We told them of our fiasco and they told us theirs so we feel better that our boat has really good company.

Quick craft - sewing pattern bows

Friday, December 2, 2011


When I wrapped up the hostess gifts for Thanksgiving, I forgot to tie on the best part - the bow made out of old patterns. I love making these. Easy, easy.

And since I didn't think about a tutorial, really, I'll just hit the main points but you can see it's not hard. at all.

1. Go get a pattern. They're between .25 - .49 cents at the Thrift shop and there are always a bunch so go nuts.

2. Lay out the pattern and cut a portion down to the size of the bow. I double folded mine for extra fluff and made it 9X12 inches.

3. Fold it accordion style, however narrow or thick you want each fold.

4. Pinch the center and tie with a pipe cleaner.

I just used what I had on hand which was a ribbon but a pipe cleaner (chenille stem) works much better so don't forget those while you're digging around for patterns at the Goodwill.

5. Trim the edges. Here I rounded it to make it more of a flower but you can cut it into a point or trim farther down on the sides to separate more of it.

6. Gently pull out the layers and twist a little to create your bow and there you go - easy, inexpensive and completely custom.
Then, your friends will ooh and ah at your creativity. And they may even call for the "bow woman" to help them out over the loudspeaker at a department store.



VoilĂ 

















Linking to Fingerprints on the fridge


Just a Girl

Today's creative blog