Thursday, April 29, 2010

One Small Victory

This past Saturday was rainy and stormy, the perfect time to stay home and take care of a project. A couple of months ago I shared a photo of underneath our kitchen sink. Lately, it's a hazard because Charlie can reach between the cracks of the child lock and get anything within his reach. Well, I put an end to that today. I pulled everything out from under there and discovered items I don't recall ever seeing before. I also found duplicates of items. Arrrgghhhh, I hate that.

I pulled up the ancient contact paper and replaced it with black non-skid matting. After putting back only the items that belong under there, it looks nice! It's a pleasure to get something out from under there now. I am pleased. But the linen closet awaits.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thrift Find Makeover

I've been hunting for some type of table to go onto the front porch. Something that would hold a plant and a nick-knack or two and weather nicely. Within 2 hours of voicing this to my friend Ginger, she finds this typewriter table for $5 at Salvation Army!

I did not like the brown painted legs so I painted them. I was tempted to go with a red or yellow but I already had black.

I found this colorful Swedish cookie tin for a nickel. .05! My fat little bird was .99 and the bird cage was 3.99.

I painted the bird and the cage and added some ivy plants to the tin. I thought they turned out pretty cute. However, my little bird did not survive her first week. She was blown off the table by the leaf blower.

I've been wanting a forsythia wreath for a couple of years now and finally bought one for $15 at Michael's. It was 50% off and the very last one. Since painting the front door black I've discovered that it's difficult to find a wreath that doesn't just blend in.

I feel like something is still missing. The brick above the table looks naked. It needs a sign or some house numbers.

I priced house number signs and decided to go with a homemade version. I like it! I added just another plant and a watering can. Wallah! I am pleased.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Purchasing a Swimsuit?

I haven't purchased a swimsuit in several years. My current fave no longer fits due to my weight loss and the suit I wore before that "fits" but is no longer flattering. We're going to the beach in less than two weeks and this chore cannot be put off any longer.

Mom and I were off to Ross and TJMaxx in search for "the one". I took the camera along to document this in the hopes that some designer will see the agony a regular woman goes through and do something about it. And I wanted to entertain you and myself.

Here is suit #1. It's not horrible but the legs are not cut high enough for someone with large thighs.

Suit #2. This is better with the extra fabric around the middle and the top was more supportive but again the legs are not cut high enough. And it's black. I do not want to bear another smothering summer absorbing extra heat in a black suit. Why do people think that anyone who wears a size 14+ must want to wear black?! It doesn't slim anything, NO ONE IS FOOLED.

Suit #3. I don't think this one requires any explanation. Moving on.

Suit #4. The pattern here is S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D in unflattering areas. And who came up with those flimsy strings to keep the top up? Absurd.

Suit #5. The Miracle Suit underperformed. The bust area ended well below my chest. As you can see I'm starting to lose my patience with this.

Suit #6. This skirted two piece get up was just silly. It made me feel like what the English refer to as a "tart".

Suit #7. I really liked this one and I could have overlooked the fact that it was black. I cannot overlook the price tag, $142.00. I'm not kidding.

We left empty handed today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

X-nay on the Mop-A for Mother's Day

I was asked what I wanted for Mother's Day and I answered, "a steam mop". Luckily, my mother straightened me out on that idea. Her exact words, "You do not want to hear your children say they bought you a mop. Go out tomorrow and buy yourself one. Some things are just essential!"
I do own a mop but I hate it. I've been using a Swiffer but it's a terrible product. I think they've updated it by now but I'm done with Swiffer. The handle is too short and feeble and I always end up on the floor using my hands to get up tough spots. I used my last Swiffer "wet wipe"thingy out of the box tonight and I'm not buying ANYMORE. Here's where the mop is now.
Thank you Mom, you always know best. I'm off to peruse QVC's Diamonique for a more appropriate gift.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

She's Been Digging in PooPoo

This is how my daughter described what I did all afternoon. Yes, it is true. This weekend my husband purchased some topsoil for my front flower beds. We had no idea it would smell so horrible. Is it horse or cow poo? Katherine thought it might be cat.
It's been a few days and it's still "whiffy" but that wasn't going to keep me from finishing this project. All my flowers and plants have been planted but they are not ready for a reveal yet. They need a few weeks to grow into their new space.
Above is a photo I found on-line using one of my favorite plants, a sweet potato vine. I think I'll try to imitate this tomorrow!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Garden Project

I have a bad habit of starting every spring with over enthusiasm for planting. We buy tons of flowers and plants and I end up letting them die in late summer because it's too hot and muggy to water them. I understand that watering in the morning would be the best solution for this but judging from the past it's not going to happen.

Here is what one of my flower beds looks like now.

It's horribly embarrassing, but moving on....

Last August when all of my planted beauties had died, my friend Emilie's front flower beds looked awesome. Her husband had installed a drip system in the beds and along the porch to her hanging ferns, genius.

This year we installed one too! I can't wait to see what the results are going to look like!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Food Revolution!

If you are interested in your child's school cafeteria serving fresh homemade food, sign Jamie's Food Revolution Petition at!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tax Bill Threatens My Lifestyle

I've spent the last week under the threat that I need to find a part-time job due to a very large tax bill. Talking with an older friend on Sunday opened my eyes to what an awesome job I currently hold, as a stay at home mom. Her view of being able to stay at home is not quite what happens but it sounded quite charming. My current life through her eyes:

"You have all day to keep a tidy house, keep the pantry and fridge stocked with plenty of healthy food for made from scratch dinners. Plus have time to play and tidy the children before Dad gets home. And of course meet him at the door refreshed and cheerful whilst a yummy dinner awaits him in the kitchen."

Uhhmm, yeah, that's exactly what happens! I didn't have the heart to contradict her as she has never had the opportunity to stay at home. Her view did make me rethink how lucky I have been and maybe I haven't done my best. Her little fantasy could be made a reality.

We received some very good news today. My husband landed a contract that will pay the taxes and allow me to continue being at home. But I am determined to be a better employee at my current cushy job.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Swap Party

I read about how to do a Swap Party in the Good Housekeeping January 2010 issue. It sounded like great fun! I knew my friends would be game. The invitations suggested were made from manila tags with added scrapbook paper and ribbon. I already had all I needed to make the cute invites, it was meant to be. They turned out cute!

Here's how the swap party works:
The invitation explains that each guest bring up to 10 items (handbags, accessories, drinking glasses, books, dishes etc.) just about anything to swap.

When your guests arrive they receive the same number of clothes pins as items they brought.

The clothes pins have their name or initial on them.

Each item is then tagged with a manila tag. The tagged items are placed with like items together.

The guests then shop by placing their clothespins on the tags of the items they're interested in.

After everyone has shopped, bag all the items with only one clothes pin. I used brown paper bags labeled with each guests name on it. This worked well.

If an item has more than 1 clothespin then a drawing takes place to determine who wins the item. The losing pins are given back to the guests so they can select a different item.

The items that are left over from the party can be donated.

Below is my stash from the party!

This party worked surprisingly well! I had a great time and will definitely do it again!

Monday, April 12, 2010


I have been missing in action on my blog for a few weeks now. I just downloaded our latest pictures and can see why. We've been Easter egg hunting (4 times), had company, had a birthday, been working in the yard, and I hosted a swap party. The weather warmed up and sent us buzzing!

I let Katherine pick out the egg dying kit this year. She chose a Tye dye kit that came with glitter. The kit decorated a total of 7 sticky eggs. The dye never dried and it was impossible to glitter the entire egg beautifully. We're going to skip purchasing anymore kits and just go with the good old-fashioned food color and vinegar method.

I also had a wonderful birthday. Chuck and Katherine made me a birthday cake and decorated it. It was quite delicious and a lovely shade of blue. Why yes! I have lost weight, thank you for noticing! I must say this dieting business has also butted in on my blogging. I just don't have the brainpower by the end of most evenings to write. I thought eating things that were good for you was supposed to be energizing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

One of my favorite chef's, Jamie Oliver has a new show! It's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC Fridays at 8 p.m. This show is about Jamie trying to educate people starting in the town of Huntington, W.V. This particular town was judged as the most unhealthy town in America based on health statistics.

Sadly, Jamie has had a lot of people in this town resisting his ideas about changing to a healthier lifestyle. He started this revolution by getting to know what the children in their elementary school were served. This was not good. He tried to get the lunch ladies on board with cooking everything from scratch. You can imagine they did not want to make their jobs more difficult. This is Alice,

she's Jamie's nemesis in the lunch room but she can be quite entertaining if you are not Jamie. Another part of the show that I found interesting but sad was the kindergarten class could not name one fresh vegetable shown to them, not one! But the best part was their own teacher took it upon herself to teach them. A week later Jamie was invited in to quiz them and they did a wonderful job.

I can't wait for this week's episode. I saw in the preview where Jamie is showing the town's local DJ (also one of Jamie's nemesis) inside the funeral parlor. There was the largest coffin I've ever seen in that parlor. It looked like a square raft and it was disgusting. I hope Jamie can win this town over.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Sundays

Just a few Easter photos from the past. My brother and I on Easter Sunday years ago.

Katherine's first Easter. My mom wanted to set up a cute "Eastery" photo session. It took us quite a few shots to get a good one but we did!