Friday, August 31, 2012

more happy things!

Some more happy things I forgot to mention yesterday:

1. I am going to visit my new nephew this weekend!

I can't wait to see him, and my family.

2. And I'm flying all by myself.  Decadence, I tell you.  I love flying on airplanes by myself; I usually get through at least two books.  I don't have any books currently put aside though.  Any recommendations on what to read?  I like to read books with happy endings and I hate reading about bad things happening to children.  Go!

3.   I'm also supposed to go to a Bruce Springsteen concert on Monday night with my sister and parents (yay! I love Bruuuuuuuuce!), although the forecast is for thunderstorms.  Cross your fingers for no storms, since its an outdoor venue.

4. After months of indecision, I finally pointed at random and picked a case for my iphone.

Deja vu?  Do you think this is a pattern I really like and already have in my house?

5.  I don't have to pay to fix our broken AC unit.  This is not entirely happy (see again, AC IS BROKEN WE ARE HOT SEND ICE AND FANS), but at least our rental is managed by a fairly responsive management company that sent someone the same day to fix it, and hopefully we will have the new part by tomorrow.  And I don't have to pay for it.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy happy joy joy

Things that make me happy:

1.  I brought back an old favorite for zucchini season--this chocolate zucchini bread recipe is delicious.  I might note that instead of using melted chocolate as called for in the recipe, I toss in chocolate chips. Probably an immoderate number of chocolate chips.  Regardless, my children are eating zucchini and don't even know it.  Bwahahahahaha!

2.  I love love love the taco trucks.  I would go so far as to say the best culinary experience in this town is the taco tucks. (It is not a high bar, as this town is full of mediocre chain restaurants.)  Shrimp tacos, where have you been all my life?  Carnitas fries, git in mah belly!  Chimichurri steak over fries, I love you so!

Mexican food in southern California is EXCELLENT.  I did not even know that LIKED Mexican food till we moved here.     

3.  I currently have very little back and neck pain!  

 I have lived with near constant back and neck pain for ten years now, ever since spraining my neck right before getting married.  Sometimes its better and sometimes its worse, but it is always there.  About two months ago, my back pain began ratcheting up, until I was at a point where I knew I was going to sprain my neck again soon.  When I get to that point I live in fear that each time I reach for a pen or brush my teeth or look to the left I will suddenly be spasming with a new sprain. 

No matter how many massages I was getting or how many muscle relaxers I was taking, nothing seemed to work. I wasn't even getting any pain relief, let alone making my back better.  I felt like my entire body was cocked to the left.  Everything felt out of wack. I felt brittle, like I was waiting to break.  Also--weird thing that I've never heard of happening to anyone else--I had a two ribs out of place. One in the front that I could actually feel poking out, and one in the back that was causing a giant knot right under my shoulder.  

The Mister has been nagging me to go to a doctor or a chiropractor and get to the root of my problems.  However, doctors generally just give me muscle relaxers and tell me to get physical therapy, and I did not feel that I got any benefit out of the last chiropractor I went to, so I dragged my feet. 

Finally, feeling that I had nothing to lose with going to a chiropractor, I went to someone the Mister found.  AND IT WAS AWESOME.  Apparently having a pokey-outey rib will totally screw up  your back and pull everything out of wack?   The chiro popped it back in, adjusted my back and neck, and in ten minutes my back pain went from an 8 out of 10 to a 2.  

I've had some difficult health problems over the past few years, and one of the things I am most thankful for is my health.  When I am feeling good, I think about it--I notice it, and I am thankful for it.  I don't take it for granted.  On days I wake up without pain, I am thankful. And happy.

What are you happy about today?


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the garage and the handball wall

The boys love to play handball.  Every day when I pick Greg up from school I bring a dodgeball, and he plays for about forty minutes until we have to leave to pick up Peter and Princess at school.  He especially loves Wednesdays, because he gets out an hour earlier, and he can play for at least an hour.

Our backyard is ringed on all sides by a five foot concrete wall that would be good for handball but is not quiiiiiite high enough; we always lose balls into the neighboring yards.  On half of the left side the wall is our neighbor's garage and would be PERFECT for handball, but our neighbor has requested that we not play ball on the garage wall.

So that leaves.....our sliding glass doors!  Or our windows!  (If you look carefully you can see the two window screens that handball has dislodged from their casings; they now live in the bushes.)

The boys have complied with the neighbor guy telling them to not play on the cement wall, but completely ignore my polite requests about not slamming dodgeballs through our rented glass doors. "But Mom! I'm aiming for the wall BETWEEN the windows!"  

I discussed building a temporary handball wall out of plywood with our handyman.  The quote was a lot more than I wanted to spend on a wall I will have to remove in eight months, so the backyard is currently unavailable for handball.  I may attempt to DIY our own handball wall, but I have zero desire to sink posts into cement so that it doesn't fall on the kids or fall over in an earthquake, and then have to dig that up in a few months when we leave.


In what I hope is the last post ever about our garage, I finished cleaning the garage.  I don't have a true picture of how the garage was filled to the brim the day we moved in, but in the middle of the process it looked like this:

After 8 gazillion subsequent rounds of purging and cleaning and more purging (you can read about unpacking and cleaning the garage here, here,and  here) I can finally park a car in the garage.  Sort of.

Essentially, I craigslisted and donated as much as humanly possible, and what we are left with is an entire wall of bins plus a few boxes annnnnd....a bunch of more stuff that doesn't fit along the wall, so I shoved it up against the wall of bins.

We should probably donate all those snow shovels, shouldn't we.

This mess is not my preferred method of organizing or storing; I prefer that things have a home.  My rule of thumb is if keep what we have space for.  Unfortunately I don't have enough wall space for the table pedestal and spare chairs  and bicycles and shop-vacs and rugs and strollers, so I am not really following my own rules here.  I will just have to suffer.

If I owned this house, I'd invest in an organization system and racks on the ceiling, but since we hope to buy a house next year, I am not investing anything into this house.  I am also reluctant to get rid of side tables and chairs and the kids' clothes.  To wit, I have purged as much as I am willing to purge at this point in time.  When we buy a new home and we move in and I figure out what we have room for, then I will do another round.  But for now, I have gone from an extremely full, overflowing garage to an approximately one-third full garage, and I am happy with that.


Best of all?

We have a new handball court.

Monday, August 27, 2012

color obsession and Le Mans print boys bedroom

Since I've started looking at houses to buy next spring, I've mentally checked out of doing any actual decorating in our current house.  There are plenty of things I could do, if I were so inclined, but the only plans I have right now are for more organizing and purging of closets.

I am, however, thinking of what I'd like to do in the next house.  The Mister and I love vintage art posters, so I've been pinning some of my favorite posters from the past few years and drawing up mood boards around them.

I love the bright colors in this Le Mans print.  I've thought about using it for one of the boy's rooms in our next house. I drew up two moodboards around it--one with white walls, and one with deep yellow walls.

Le Mans print / madras bedding / red night table (the red appears to be discontinued) / rag rug /  Hemnes dresser / yellow lamp / yellow trim roman shade / Peugot print / Wild Things print (I'm sorry, I cannot remember where I found this)

The madras plaid and the braided rag rug gives this board a bright, casual feel.   We've owned a few braided rag rugs over the years; I love how they stand up to wear and the feel of the cotton rag rugs under your feet.  They also have a great mix of color without a distracting pattern.  

In the second option, I would paint the walls a deep egg yolk yellow.

Le Mans print / blue rug / Hemnes dresser / green nightstand / duvet / green trim roman shade / blue painting / red painting / red lamp

This board was inspired by my mother in law's bedroom; she has deep yellow on the walls with a cobalt blue tile floor.  I really like the combination and I've had this Le Mans print in the back of my  mind with that combination for a while.

What room should I pretend to do next?  I am thinking about a living room with last week's cobalt blue Gladiator print.  I am sort of obsessed with cobalt blue right now.  I think of it as a neutral; it goes with everything--yellow, green, red, pink, orange.

Do you have color obsessions?  For most of my twenties I was all over yellow and red; it was in every room of our house when we first got married.  In fact, the hall bathroom in our first house was painted deep egg yolk yellow with a red and yellow curtain and a Chat Noir poster.  Our bedroom was a paler yellow with the red patchwork quilt that I gave to my sister.

After my red and yellow phase came the blue and brown phase.  In 2004 I wanted to decorate our bedroom with aqua and brown bedding and couldn't find it anywhere.  Flash forward two years later and it was everywhere, but by then I was over it.  Next was the purple and orange phase. (All of this is pre-blog, and I was not into photographing  my living room at the time.)  After that was my red and aqua phase.  And now I have been big into navy and orange/coral for a few years.  Navy is in nearly every room in this house.  What will next year bring?

Do you have a color that you find yourself using over and over?  


Friday, August 24, 2012

cobalt blue bedroom moodboard

I have loved this print for years, and hope to use it in my next house.

Lately I am obsessed with navy and cobalt blue, and the flaming orange of the lady's hair is just perfect against that blue background.  I made up a moodboard for using this print in our bedroom.

Gladiator print / curtains / otomi pillow / stripe pillow / dresser / lamp / headboard / bedding / x-bench / rug

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cookbooks I have known and loved

As Peter's list of allergies grows ever longer, and the list of foods we are willing to expose him to grows ever smaller, we have begun preparing more and more of our own food from scratch. We try to avoid things that come in boxes, or have been highly processed, because of the opportunity for cross-contamination with one of Peter's allergic foods. This means Peter (and thus the rest of the family) eats a diet heavy on fresh vegetables and fruit, and we make bread and sweets from scratch.  I am not yet churning my own butter, but close. 

You know I detest cooking, right? 

No matter, I like my kid healthy more than I hate cooking.  This means that I am constantly scouring cookbooks for something to make.  My family eats two basic food styles: 1) what I think of as American-ish, like meatloaf and mac'n'cheese, and 2) Italian.  Everything else is met with wrinkled noses and YUCK I HATE THIS.  Thus most of my cookbooks fall into one of these two categories.  

In the American-ish category, we have the Year Around Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase.  

I think this is my favorite cookbook of all time.  My grandmother gave me a copy many years ago, and it has been used and perused and is coming apart at  the bindings. 

The book is divided into summer and winter, with recipes focusing on foods that are readily available or common to that season.  The recipes are rather large; most of them seem to make 10 to 12 servings, so its a good entertaining cookbook.  I frequently turn to this cookbook when looking for something to take to a holiday party. 

The author runs a restaurant in Nantucket, and the recipes are all ones that she has used in her restaurant. Sometimes they are a bit fancy, or have ingredients I can't find easily, but 90% of the book uses easily found ingredients and simple cooking techniques. She usually includes a paragraph or two on where the recipe came from, or why she loves it so much.  Its a toss-up as to whether I love this book more for the stories or for the recipes. 

Every recipe in here I have ever made has turned out delicious.  My only complaint is that there are a ton of dairy-filled recipes that sound incredible that I can't eat.  Boohoo.  The recipe I make frequently--I don't even need to pull out the cookbook anymore--is pasta e fagiole alla Clementine on page 465, although I substitute sausage for salt pork.  

Sadly, this book is out of print, although there are a few used copies on Amazon.

I'm also a fan of Mark Bittman's The Minimalist Cooks At Home.  You might be familiar with Mark Bittman from his NY Times food column.

 Like the title says, these recipes are minimal.  Most of the recipes have less than four ingredients, and the cooking techniques are simple.  There are a few recipes that I have looked askance at (gravlax? really?), and there is also a southeast Asian contingent that my family won't eat (anything with curry or lemongrass or coconut is verboten around here).  The majority of the recipes, however, are simple and what I think of as American-ish, like Chicken with Riesling and Emma's Cod and Potatoes.  

I also like Bittman's Fish cookbook. 

 It has recipes for nearly every kind of fish, and at the beginning of each section, the type of fish is described for flavor and for its similarity to other types of fish, so that you could substitute the other types of fish in that section's recipes.  Again, Bittman's recipes are usually simple and easy to accomplish.  

My one complaint with this book is that instead of giving recipes for tilapia, Bittman notes that tilapia has a "undesirable, muddy flavor" and that he avoids tilapia and you should too.  Since tilapia is one of the cheapest fishes out there and inexpensively feeds a family of five, we eat it frequently, and I'd like some recipes for it.  

In the Italian category, my mother in law gave me two Italian cookbooks when the Mister and I got married, and I have used them both extensively.  She also recently gave me Sophia Loren's cookbook, and it is my new obsession. 

The first is a Barnes and Noble publication that's titled Italian, by Kate Whiteman et al:

The second is Naples at Table (yes, its Naples at Table, there's no "the").  It appears to be out of print, but there are plenty of used copies available.  Many of the recipes are simple, but many are not. There does seem to be a lot of waiting around for things to cook in these recipes. However, everything tastes delicious.  

And lastly, my mother in law just gave me Sophia Loren's cookbook Recipes & Memories for my birthday last month. 

Naples at Table and Sophia Loren's book are very much the same.  The recipes are mostly simple, use what many people would consider a hellacious amount of olive oil, and frequently involve tossing everything in a pan of olive oil and simmering it for an hour or two.  These recipes are the style of food that we eat when we go to Italy and visit the Mister's relatives.  Without fail, everything in these two cookbooks are delicious, and taste like my inlaws' cooking.  I highly recommend.  

The Barnes and Noble Italian book is along the same lines, although in my opinion it branches out a bit more, with more cream-based and meat and seafood recipes.  Its more American-style Italian, rather than the recipes we eat when we visit the Mister's relatives in Italy.  It has a little bit of everything, and I love that this book has simple step by step instructions with pictures, unlike all of the other books.  

I have many, many more cookbooks, but these are the ones I turn to the most. 


Now I need a cookbook from you. 

As a general rule of thumb, we do not feed Peter any sweets, ice cream or fresh bread that can be bought at a store, as the cross-contamination risk is too high.  We make ice cream at home with our ice cream maker, and we make bread with our breadmaker, and since Peter has a sweet tooth, I make almost every sugary treat that he eats.  He loves cake and cupcakes, and I'm looking for a good baking cookbook.  

Do you have a favorite baking cookbook?  I don't need an allergen-free cookbook, as he is not allergic to gluten and I don't need to experiment with guar gum and the like. I just need your average dessert cookbook; I can avoid recipes that call for nuts or almond extract, etc. (Obviously a book like Your Guide to Baking with Peanut Butter would not be what I am looking for.) 

Tell me your favorite baking cookbook. Actually, I'm always on the lookout for good cookbooks, I'll take your dinner cookbook recommendations too.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

zero, hidden playrooms, Fooducate app

One of the teachers at preschool was trying to ascertain if Princess knew the numbers 0-10 yet, and gave her a pop quiz.  She knew 1-10, but was stumped by zero.

Teacher: What number do you have if you don't have any?
Princess:  ....uh....
Teacher: If I gave Peter some pancakes, but you didn't get any, how many would you have?
Princess: I'd want to know who ate all my pancakes.


One of the houses we toured last weekend had a split-level layout of the kitchen, dining room, living room and master bedroom upstairs, and three bedrooms downstairs centered around a family room. Initially, upon walking into the house, I was not excited about it, because I'd prefer a traditional bedroom upstairs/living downstairs.  However, as I was standing in the downstairs den and looking at how the entire lower level was basically Kid Central, I thought it was actually a fabulous idea.

And then we discovered this:

That is a teeny tiny playroom, accessed through the back of a closet in the den, and its less than four feet high.  My kids would LOVE this.  (It is the week of secret passages for kids, check out the cool passageway in the closet Tiffany just put in her daughter's room.)

I came across this fabulous app for people with food allergies.  Fooducate has a number of apps, but the Allergy & Gluten app is fantastic.  (I am not being compensated in any way for this, I just really like it.)  This app is $4.99 in the Apple app store.

You can pick up to three allergies to scan for:

You then scan the bar code on the product you want to buy, and it will tell you if the product has (or may have) your specific allergen in it.

As you can see, if it "may contain" your allergen, the warning is orange.  If it DOES contain your allergen, the warning is red.

Sometimes it is obvious from the label that something may contain your allergen (like Bob's Red Mill Oats actually says that it is manufactured in a facility with tree nuts, hence the warning), but other times its not that obvious.  After buying the app I scanned everything in my pantry, and I am a pretty careful label reader, but I still managed to get rid of six boxes of Betty Crocker cake mix (dude I like cake), a bag of pretzels and a bag of potato chips.

The Mister and I are now scanning everything we put in our grocery cart (in addition to reading the labels).  If it is a major brand and it comes in a box, my experience is that is probably included in their database.  They are less likely to have the store brand.  So if you are buying Kraft mac'n'cheese, you'll find it, but if you're buying the ShopRite brand, they might not.

The only con so far is the review function. I would expect that a food allergen app would have reviews from people with allergies regarding that product, but in general the review of the product are dozens of "love this stuff" or "u shuld totally try this" variety.  I would be most interested in a review function that included comments on the "may contain" category, such as what other products are produced in that factory, etc.  There are plenty of webboards that will discuss those topics for you, but it would be nice to see in this kind of app.

If you know of other allergen food apps, I'd love to hear about them.


Decorating stuff....uh...right.  Not at the moment, although I am William Morris-ing up a storm.


Greg's birthday party has been scheduled, paid for, the invites have gone out this evening...nervous breakdown to commence in T-17 days.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Craft Cabinet

This year has been all about change and making new friends.  I've managed to make a few friends in the past few weeks.  Instead of walking up to a strange kid and saying "Hi, my name is Lisa, wanna play?" (that would be weird, since I'm about thirty years older than the kids) I walk up to the kid's mom and say "Hi, I'm Greg's mom, my name is Lisa, wanna have a playdate?"  Its working out ok, for the most part.  Greg has made friends, I have a friend or two, and now I need to work on playdates for Peter and Princess.  Lots of girding my loins and talking to strangers.

I have also decided that I need to meet more friends who I currently know only in the computer.  So I signed up for the Craft Cabinet, a craft party thrown by Jules and Andrea.  The party was on Friday night, about a half hour from my home, and it was a great time.  I met other local bloggers, including some who actually live in my town or right next door.

I even made a craft. I am not all that crafty--I can paint furniture and wield an iron and hemming tape, but smaller stuff always seems to turn out like crap.  I went for a very low-stress, simple ingredient project:  coasters, from this tutorial over at Hi Sugarplum!  I figured it involved glue, pompoms and stiff fabric, it couldn't be that difficult.  It was pretty easy to do, although I was cursing myself for leaving my good scissors at home--the cheapo scissors I brought frayed the fabric and pompoms a bit.  

I used a placemat I had stashed in the fabric cabinet that was doubleside. I bought some pretty green pompoms, and voila, coasters.

I loved the idea of a craft party--its great for introverts!  You can always ask your neighbor questions about their craft, or put your head down and pretend to work on your own craft if the effort of talking to people is overwhelming.  You could also visit the cupcake bar.

All of the food was excellent.  Yum, cupcakes.  Even the swag bags had cupcakes!  I am all over parties that involve cupcakes.  Also, the party was held at Salvage Life, which had great vintage stuff.  I tried on some clothes but they were too small, boohoo.  (This might have something to do with the cupcakes.)

So! Project Make New Friends Yet Again is going along allright.   Are there other blogger meetups I should know about? How does one find out about these things?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

William Morris: the fabric cabinet

When we moved all the books from the garage to the living room, the cabinet in the garage that held all the books was left empty.

This is super exciting, because it means that I now have a free-standing cabinet to store fabric in.  I have a number of fabrics left over from various projects over the years, and fabrics I've bought a yard or two of just because I like them.  For years the fabrics have lived in a plastic rubbermaid bin, stashed in the bottom of a closet or the attic or the garage.  The drawback to keeping all the fabric in a bin is that I can't see the fabric at a glance, and usually have to unload the bin any time I want to use a particular fabric.

I've posted before about how I would love to have a closet or cabinet for fabric storage.  This cabinet is a plastic shelf unit from Home Depot that we have used for storage in our previous garages and basements, and it is not the glass-fronted cabinet of my dreams, but it is free, and we have room for it in the garage, and its plastic functionality makes me supremely happy.

I've organized all my craft and fabric supplies in small plastic bins we already own.  My collection of ribbons and trim were corralled in two bins, and the third bin holds glue-type items, such as the hot glue guns, glue sticks, hemming tape, spray adhesive, fabric glue and fun-tac.  My paint decks also live on the top shelf.

The bottom row also holds more project supplies, like wooden letters from a previous project, silk flowers, and a wooden tray I will get around to painting someday.

I did not ROYGBIV the fabrics, but they are mostly grouped by colors.

I seem to have a lot of blues and browns.  And cut-up duvets.  Sharp eyes might spot two yards of the never-ending mistake Gullan Blom fabric.

This free, ugly plastic cabinet is one of my happiest projects to date.  I can see all of my fabrics, they are easily accessible, all of the trims and crafting supplies are organized and in one place.

I have high hopes that the house we are currently shopping for will have a space that will be mine, with a table for creating stuff and my glass fronted fabric cabinet, but until then, I'm enjoying my creative stuff being in one place and organized.

I am linking up to Pancakes and French Fries William Morris Project.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

design paralysis, and the new art print

One of the reasons I haven't been blogging much, aside from my contemplative navel-gazing, is my decor budget.  You might recall my sticker shock upon finding that preschool here is ONE MILLION DOLLARS.  Since Princess and Peter both started preschool last week, that is TWO MILLION DOLLARS.  A month.  As my father once told me, "if you have the money, you won't have the time. And if you have the time, you probably won't have the money."  So true! I have lots of free time to accomplish projects now, but my project budget has been severely curtailed.

Another reason I haven't been decorating?  I have hit design paralysis for the upstairs.  The boys' room is nearly done, and just needs two large scale photos I have yet to take.  Princess's bedroom has barely been touched. It is functional, and half-assed-ly decorated with all the stuff from the previous house, but nothing exciting.  My bedroom is at a standstill; I can't figure out what to do in there at all.

This design paralysis is a side effect of the fact that we've started house-shopping, and thus this house seems a bit impermanent to me.  We aren't buying till next spring, but we've started looking seriously at different towns in the area, and trying to figure out where we want to live.

The town we are currently in is a top contender.  The kids have made friends, *I* have made some friends (woohoo!  Yay me!  Not the kind of friends who you can ask to help to bury the bodies--that takes more time--but the kind of friend that you can talk to about the latest episode of The League and say hey lets go to the Outlet Mall!  So that is Progress. And I haven't died of anxiety yet, although Greg's birthday party may accomplish that soon.)

I leave you with a new art print I ordered from Etsy.  I have been giving myself many, many, many pep talks over the last few weeks, and this print seemed like a good reminder that it doesn't matter where we live as long as we are together.

Please excuse the lamp on the floor.  That lamp is on the floor for this picture because it partially blocks my pep talk picture, and it is on my to do list to move all of the right hand pictures over to the left a few inches (that "use newspaper to make a template" method is baloney, I tell you).

Monday, August 6, 2012

new pillows in my living room

You might have noticed these pillows in the One Room Challenge reveal.  While strolling through Ikea the other day, I came across this lovely Natvide pillow cover for $7.99.  (I can't find a link to the product on Ikea's website).

It had the right colors for my living room, and it was the right size for the big pillows that we like to recline on, so it came home with me.

My mother also made a fantastic pillow out of the fabric and trim that we had left over from the shoe cubby and Expedit slipcovers:

Friday, August 3, 2012

a numbered list of random thoughts

1. Since a number of people have expressed interesting in reading my midlife crisis birthday musings, I have rewritten that post four times.  Its lovely therapy, but still, it is a morass of self-doubt that seems too naked and needy to put on the interwebs.  However, I do greatly appreciate the comments on my birthday post from the 40+ crowd, assuring me that life will be fantastic.  

2.  Five years ago we had a flood in our basement.  Unfortunately, we lost about eight banker boxes full of books, mostly my collection of young adult literature.  I've been devouring YA at the library lately in an attempt to bring my book spending under control.  However, all this YA reading has made me think I should look into replacing some of my favorites, like the Laura Ingalls and L.M. Montgomery series that were lost in the flood.  

The Mister and I reminisced about our favorite books when we were kids, and discovered that we both had read the Moby Books Illustrated Classics series (which unfortunately does not have a website of its own). This series is abridged and simplified versions of the classics  (Moby Dick, A Christmas Carol, etc) for children, with illustrations on each page, and they were some of our favorite books.  So the Mister found a set on Ebay, and now Greg is the proud owner of a few good books.  We will be searching for more Ebay sets over the coming years.

The Mister is currently reading the Hounds of the Baskervilles to the kids as I write this.

Note to self, in library room of next house, an entire bookshelf (or more!) dedicated to YA books I loved as a kid.

Do you have a favorite Young Adult book?

3. Last week I met Jules of Pancakes and French Fries, and Andrea of Four Flights of Fancy.  I saw Jules on Facebook asking if anyone was going to a Mom 2.0 meetup nearby that evening, and decided, in a very-unlike-my-hermit-self whim, that yes, I would go to a blogging event where I knew absolutely no one to meet someone whose blog I thoroughly enjoy. Personal growth!

I was a little nervous--a lot nervous--of feeling like an idiot with nothing to talk about.  However, Jules and Andrea were fabulous and I had a great time.  Can't wait to see them again at the Craft Party!

4.  My children have invited me to have a bey blade battle with them. (If you don't have a boy between the ages of 5 and 8, Bey Blades are a  Japanese anime cartoon where the characters battle using spinning tops constructed of multiple parts, which have different characteristics, and you can buy the spinning tops (and don't forget the plastic stadium!) for a ridiculous amount of money in Target.) However, I'm only allowed to use the "weak bey" that no one else wants to use.

Greg has taken to challenging me to a bey blade battle whenever I send him to his room.

5.  I hoisted up my big girl panties and scheduled two playdates for Greg.  (More talking to people I don't know!)  I will make sure this kid a social life, even if I die of nervous agita.

6.  Peter and Princess start school next week.  As of next Monday, all of my children will be in school all day. I am really looking forward to having 5 hours a day all to myself.  I'm also having a bit of a mental breakdown about it (refer to above list item #1, the Who Am I and What Am I Doing With My Life post that I haven't posted).

7. Have a lovely weekend, invisible internet friends.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One Room Challenge, Week 6, Part 2: the grand finale

Its been six weeks of nonstop decorating, and I'm about done.  You can see previous weeks here: Week 1 (moodboard)Week 2 (curtains)Week 3 Part 1 (art options), and Week 3, Part 2 (splatter painting)Week Four (bookshelves), Week 5 (tv wall and ottoman), and Week 6, Part 1 (furniture arrangement).  

We started with this empty room:

and finished with this:

I will put together a source list for the living room tomorrow.

I can't wait to see what everyone else has done to their rooms!

Lauren - The Cottage Mix
Lindsay - Everything LEB
Barbara - Hodge:Podge
Tiffany - Living Savvy
Jessie - Mix & Chic
Danylle - Nana Moon
Jennifer - The Pink Pagoda
Emily - Rue de Emily
Lindsay - Sadie + Stella