Sunday, October 31, 2010

new blankies

The shrunken too short capri pants blanket is driving me a bit nuts.  Seeing as I spent last night with the blanket only covering my right half.  I want a new blankie.  And you know what that means....redecorating!  Redecorating a room I just finished in February.

I don't think I've ever posted the entire bedroom.  Actually, its quite pretty. The Mister says "I really like the bedroom the way it looks now.  Lets just leave it that way?"  If I were adequately covered at night I might consider it.

We are a bit quirky about our blanket requirements.  The Mister does not like heavy blankets, or anything that would keep us too warm. (I would like to be warm.  This occasionally presents a problem.)

 I do not like duvets.  Unfortunately, duvets have the prettiest designs, and I've tried on three different occasions to use them, but they suck and I hate them.  They are sloppy looking and the blanket slides all around inside them, even if you use the little clip or tie thingies in the corners. duvets.  No comforters, because they are too heavy.  This leaves us with quilts and high heating bill.

Quilts have their own problems....most quilts are a little too country in design.  Thus, I shop and shop and shop for blankets. I also frequently fall in love with new bedding.  Its such an easy thing to switch and get a whole new look for a room.

I have loved this Tea Garden chinoiserie quilt since Pottery Barn had it a few years ago.  Its discontinued but it continues to pop up on Ebay.

I looooove this pattern from Garnet Hill, but alas, its a stupid duvet:

This one is from Bed Bath and Beyond:

I love that bird throw pillow.  Its got turquoise, orange, and greens going on but its not overpowering.....I should probably just buy the pillow.

None of these blankets go with the current color scheme of green and aqua in the bedroom, btw.

And as long as we are talking about things I want in my bedroom, I love this headboard.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

dumb stencil question

 I have finally finished painting the foyer for the 407th time.  Its now Benjamin Moore Decorator White.  Soon it will have a stencil on it. Maybe.

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to use the stencil correctly, and the instructions do not address my question. Its a giant stencil, about 2 feet by 3 feet.  Suppose I paint the stencil on the wall, and want to continue up the wall to repeat the I have to wait for it to dry before moving the stencil up?  I need to match up the design, but there is about a one inch border of plastic all the way around the design.  Matching up the design would mean that the one inch plastic border would be resting on wet paint.  

If I have to wait for this damn thing to dry in order to repeat the pattern, this is going to take me ten years to do the whole foyer.  

Chipotle v. Qdoba

I have become, oh, a weeeee bit obsessed with Chipotle lately.  As in, I had it for lunch four times last week. But my sisters say Qdoba is better, so I had it for lunch on the fifth day.  Yes, I am a joy to be around after eating burritos five days in a row.

In order to conduct my taste test, I ordered just about the same thing at both places. At Chipotle, I had a pork and pinto bean burrito with tomato salsa, corn salsa, guacamole and lettuce.

At Qdoba, I had the pick two option, which got me a cup of tortilla soup, and a "naked" burrito with all the same ingredients I got at Chipotle, just in a bowl instead of a tortilla.  The soup smelled absolutely delicious on the way home.

Prior to discovering Chipotle, I rarely ate Mexican food, because I can't eat cheese or sour cream, and that cuts out a large number of Mexican dishes found at fast food restaurants. (For many years I was in denial about my inability to eat dairy, but I have since decided that I will just not eat foods that have spectacularly adverse effects on my gastrointestinal system.)  Skipping the cheese and sour cream usually makes a burrito kind of dry, so I just don't bother. I'm also not a huge fan of spicy.  (I know, why am I bothering with Mexican food at all?)

Verdict?  I liked Chipotle better.  The tortilla soup, although torturing me with its yummy smelling goodness al the way home, was wayyyyy spicy. The naked burrito was...ok. Not bad.  I would eat there again.  But Chipotle was better....the seasoning was tastier, the beans and pork were moist and flavorful, and the guacamole had the perfect mix of lime and onion and no jalapenos.  Yum!

I will admit that Qdoba does have a much bigger menu.  Chipotle has burritos...and burritos. They do one thing very well.  Qdoba has burritos and quesadillas and soups and salads and nachos and more cheesy things.  But since I don't eat the cheesy things, half the menu was off-limits.

And the deciding factor....Chipotle is five minutes from my house, Qdoba is half an hour.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Desk chairs, fixed

so...remember the desk chairs I ruined

I never did toss them to the curb.  I love the shield back, and just couldn't bring myself to throw them away.  So they sat in the garage for a while. Last week we cleaned out the garage, trying to tidy up, and the Mister walked them out to the curb. No!!! No! Bring them back!! I will fix them!

I sat down with a scrub sponge with some dish soap and water, and gave the chairs a good scrubbing.  The dried Citrustrip came right off.  I let them dry in the sun for a day, then sanded them again to smooth out the paint surface. 

I spray painted them with a few coats of Krylon Leather Brown. I think this will be my last spray paint project for a while, seeing as I paint outdoors and temps have been hovering in the fifties lately.

I was shopping at Target and liked this shower curtain.

 It was a thick material, went with the curtains, had a nice graphic I used it to recover the seat cushions.

And here they are:

I like the shield backs much better than the mission chairs I was using at the desk.

I also splurged and bought new hardware for the cabinet under the desk:

The mission chairs are currently living on the other side of the living room...but I have a feeling that I will move them back into the turret.  I think the one looks great under the mirror, but its too close to the craft closet.  The other one by the

Monday, October 25, 2010


Many years ago, I took my younger sister to a college tour day at University of Delaware, in Newark, DE.  If you've never been to Newark, its pronounced new-ARK (not NEW-ark, like the city in NJ).  The dean gave a talk welcoming everyone, and trotted out this joke, as I'm sure he does every year at college tour day:

"A family came here to visit the college, and afterwards went to get something to eat.  The dad asked a woman at the restaurant to please tell them exactly where they were, very slowly and carefully, as they were confused about the pronunciation.  The woman very slowly and very carefully said "BUR...GER....KING."

Hardy-har-har!  Actually, its become somewhat of a family joke, if you are acting stupid, to say "Bur...ger...King."  

This morning, I went to Sherwin Williams to pick up some paint for the foyer. (I am so sick of painting that foyer.)   Most name brand paint stores will color-match other brands of paint, if you ask them.  The manager at this store is very nice and has frequently color matched other paints for me.

I walked in and asked the young man behind the counter to give me a gallon of Benjamin Moore satin Decorator White and a gallon of semi-gloss Clinton Brown.  He looked at me like I was the world's biggest idiot.

"You know you're at SHER...WIN...WILL...IAMS, right?"

I find that as I get older, stupidity enrages me far more quickly than it used to.

I gave him a cocked eyebrow and said "Yes?"  And stared at him.

"We don't have Benjamin Moore paint."

"Yes, you do. Go ask your manager."

Half an hour (!) later I finally had my "decorative" white and "clicking" brown.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why doesn't he park that Maserati in the garage?

On our daily walk we pass by a house a few blocks from here that usually has a Porsche, a Maserati, and a Mercedes suv in the driveway.  Last month this guy seemed to have traded in the Porsche and the Mercedes for another Maserati.

We have always wondered why he does not keep his Maserati (or Porsche, or Mercedes, or other Maserati) in his two car garage.  Its a pretty fancy car, wouldn't you keep it in the garage?

The garage door was open today.  The garage is full of Ferraris.

(I was driving by, saw that the garage was open, drove around the block and crept back...trying to take a pic with my phone from across the street all inconspicuous-like, while Mr. Maserati-Ferrari guy was working on his cars in the garage. Hence the less-than-stellar picture quality.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

The dining room, part 487

I finally won an ebay auction on my PB Audrey curtains.  Woohoo.  I have hung the curtains in the dining room, and they look fantastic. I used curtain rings this time, and I like how it makes them drape.  I really want pinch-pleat curtains next time, but this gives a similar look.

Weirdly, there looks like there is a peachy undertone on the walls and the curtains, but in real life there isn't. 

I took the fabric panels out of the back of the bookshelves.  I can't find any fabric I like for under $25 yard, and I don't want to spend that, so I guess they are staying plain blue for now. I think the objects on the shelf are actually easier to see without the fabric, so I'm living with that for the moment. 

The chairs were recovered in a soft brown.

I'm really happy with the way the whole thing turned out. 

As long as we are on the topic of dining rooms, I love this table, chairs and sideboard from the blog Twoellie:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I recovered the dining chairs AGAIN.

The dining room chairs were covered in red, pizzeria-type vinyl. Very easy to wipe off.  Very bright bright bright tomato red..

Last weekend I bought some new vinyl for the dining chairs in cappucino brown.

So pretty!

Of course, there's always something....I bought a vinyl that was matte, not shiny/repellant....and so the chairs are already stained, 24 hours in. 

Le sigh.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Color: flesh-like.

Our foyer is cursed.  It sucks the beauty out of every single paint color we put in there. The original color was a hideous mustard. That current blue sears my eyeballs.  Now, Kilim Beige, a beautiful neutral in every other room I have put it in  in the last three houses we have lived in, has turned into a fleshy bandaid color. 

So pretty, so pale and creamy in the paint tray.

So ugly, so Band-aid-like on the wall.

I even tried the pale greenish-white that we used in my mother in law's living room--see that patch up there on the left---and it too looked like a band-aid!  Its greenish white! The other is beige!  And yet they both look the same, and in the same crappy way! 

My mother inlaw, sensing weakness, dragged me to a wallpaper store.  That wallpaper store apparently was torn down, so we drove fruitlessly up and and down Route 46 as my babysitting time slipped away.  She said "perhaps we could do a pretty stencil?"


One trellis stencil coming right up!

No way, no how is this going to be finished by Saturday.  Everyone coming to Peter's birthday party, please shut your eyes upon entering the foyer. You may reopen when you get to the top of the stairs.

I am leaning towards the brown on the far left. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mirror mirror

After a year of searching, I have finally found the perfect mirror for the hallway:

The Mister said, no, we already have mirrors in other areas of the house!

I think it looks LOVELY.  I have admired myself every time I walk by. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

yet more Halloween costumes

Look what arrived in the mail!  This kid was SO FREAKING EXCITED. He is officially Wonder Red.  Sans braids and flirty skirt.  He is now harrassing me into buying him the rollerskates, which seems unwise. But he's got the cool beret and a cape and a unitard. 

Greg was most disappointed at his lack of a "real" Super Why costume.  He decided Buzz Lightyear was eh, ok.


See her ripping the pumpkin outift off her body in this picture?  And yelling about the Buzz Lightyear costume?

She put on Peter's Buzz Lightyear costume and went about shouting "an beyon!"

I will probably go as a harried mom of three, as I do every year. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

a Tuesday list

1.  Conversation this weekend:
  Babysitter: I love you, Peter.
Peter: I only love my mom.

2. There are no less than three people in our neighborhood who I see running barefoot on a regular basis.  ????? This is not the wilds of the Yucatan. They aren't even running on the grassy median in the middle of the street; they are running barefoot on the pavement.  Explain this to me.

Also weird: the two steroided guys who walk around the walking path backwards and shirtless. I see them every afternoon. Shirtless I understand, the backwards thing, not so much.

3.  We were almost thrown out of Supercuts last night.  No one was around to keep the Princess, so I took all 3 kids with me.  I don't know what possessed me.

I do not let my kids run amok in public places. Every time we get out of the car we have a chat about the rules.  The Rules are 1) stay with mommy, 2) don't touch anything, 3) don't talk about Fight Club.  I called ahead to make sure there wasn't a wait, but there was by the time we got there, 8 minutes later.

I didn't let my kids touch the shampoo display, but the kids stood in front of it and looked at it, and the receptionist kept saying "oh honey, don't touch that stuff, go sit with your mom!" about four hundred times.  Even though my kids were not touching their stuff.  Don't put your hands on the window glass, don't put your feet on the seat, be quiet, don't touch the magazines, etc. This girl was about 18, btw.  And she frosted us with her evil glare the entire time we were there, and gave us lots of heavy sighs.

And then they punished poor Peter for having the gall to look at the shampoo display by giving him a bad haircut.  Its crooked and the top part kind of looks like they trimmed around a bowl.  But he has a cape and so he doesn't really care.

4. Halloween costumes are giving me agita. 

5. Its hard to get Greg to pose for a picture, but here's one.  This kid is so darn cute.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Nine years together.
Nine jobs between us in that time.
Eight moves.
Seven years of marriage today.
Six cars.
Five metric tons of toys in our house.
Four international vacations.
Three kids.
Two hearts.
One love.
I love you so much.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Back of the bookshelves

I will be getting those PB Audrey curtains for the dining room, oh yes I will, someday soon....I have my eye on some on ebay but I keep getting outbid.  Regardless, I will have them.

I'm actually really happy with the Audrey curtains in the living room. They pull together the red chair, the stupid purple sofa, the meh blue rug.  With the chevron pillows and trellis chair seat it looks....dare I say...not like a kindergartener designed it.  

A little bit of self-indulgent navel-gazing here...I love bright punches of color. All the fabrics and accessories I pick up in stores are bright and colorful. But I feel when I decorate using lots of bright color, things are just TOO BRIGHT. (Downstairs foyer, anyone? Its burning my eyeballs every time I open the door. I really should just listen to the Mister. He is always right, but I always say no, no, you're not the decorating boss of me! I do it mySELF! And then I have to say, a little help here?)

Upon reflection, the reason I like the living room so much right now?  There's lots of color, but its more muted, and almost all of the big pieces are neutral.  So!  New decorating formula! Neutral large pieces and paint colors.  Bright cheerful pieces limited to accessories and easily changed things.  Try to use color but less intensity. Limit the BRIGHT BRIGHT BRIGHT stuff to one or two pieces. 

Ironically, I had already figured that formula out when it comes to paint colors....I rarely paint anything other than beige or white on the walls, because I tend to get tired of it in six months and then have to repaint.  (I once painted our powder room father said it reminded him of being on the inside of a cigarette. It glowed.)  I am not afraid of painting furniture bright colors, but our last two houses have been painted Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige on the interior.  (I have a spare gallon in the basement, and the blue downstairs foyer will soon be Kilim Beige as well.)

So...that brings me to fixing the dining room.

I plan on getting the Audrey curtains (the ones hanging in the picture are the ones currently hanging in the living room; I only scored two off craigslist, but I needed four).  I'm probably going to recover the dining chairs in brown vinyl --maybe the one with a crocodile print? (I know, I know, I just did these chairs, but the red is TOO BRIGHT. Its like a pizzeria.)

And then there's the back of the bookshelves.  I want a pattern in the back.  I luuuurrve me this stencil:

But its $42!!!!  Forty-two dollars seems like a lot for a stencil.  Plus its a reverse stencil so I'd have to paint the back of the shelves white, then use the blue over the stencil.

Also, there is a hole in the bottom back part of the bookshelf, seeing as the shelves were originally part of my mother in law's entertainment center.  I'd have to patch that somehow.

I could re-wrap my foamboard with a different material, perhaps this one? 

That would take care of patching the hole, since no one could see it.

Alternatively, I have seen some quatrefoil designs on other people's blogs, and everyone says "oh, I freehanded this! It only took 400 weekends!" or "I made my own stencil!"  How do you make your own stencil??  I am not crafty.  Things that require small, detail-oriented work rarely turn out well for me. 

And I have to get all this done in the next two weeks before my son's birthday party. 
Decisions, decisions.