January 26, 2011

Home Bound

No school today - it was another snow day and probably another one tomorrow as another storm is headed through tonight.  So it looks like we are home bound for the next few days - h.e.l.p.

I did have a good parenting moment today when we listened to our new favorite book, I Got Two Dogs by John Lithgow.  Who knew that John Lithgow could connect with kids in writing such a fun kids book?  His other one we got from the library, The Remarkable Farkle McBride, is also a good one.  Landon (6) especially likes its challenging words and rhythm.

The best part about I Got Two Dogs is that it comes with a CD that has Lithgow singing the book to a tune.  Super cute.  We had gone to story time at the library yesterday and the children's librarian said it was the most popular kids book in the library!  I must warn you though - it's the kind of tune that gets stuck in your head.  Several times today I have heard Landon singing the chorus of the song.  It's that catchy.  You have been warned.  I even started singing the song to Calvin until I realized how ridiculous I must sound, "it is the funniest kids book.  It goes like this...".  Ha!

If anyone has any super easy crafts that I could put into action for the next 5 days (5 days!), please share.  I have a feeling we will need some reinforcement.  And I can have some more "good mommy" moments.

January 22, 2011


Yes, in case you haven't heard, pink is the official Pantone color of the year.  Honeysuckle actually. 

You like?  I do.  Maybe it's the influence of having a new baby girl this year, but I'm on board.  In fact, we now have pink drapes!

In the kitchen.  Call me crazy, but I love them!  It's been a while since I made drapes for myself so it is nice to be able to enjoy my hard work.

The fabric is from Sew Mama Sew, Silhouette Fuchsia Tea Garden.  It's bold but is great contrast to the greens and browns found outside our large kitchen window.

We will probably get a pull up shade that is more functional to use daily for privacy and the drapes will just frame the windows.  So that was my latest project, the quickest drapes ever, when my mom was here to help.  They are a simple panel design with clip rings which is somewhat child safe as well since if they pull on them too hard, the whole bar won't come down.  I learned that from my latest favorite blog, Young House Love.  They're redoing their house room by room, on a tight budget.  Funny writers too.

January 21, 2011

Working Visitors

When my parents come to visit, they also come to work.  Warning: this post may contain somewhat boring pictures for some of you.  For me though, they show the accomplishments of what can be done in only a few days!

Of course, the pink drapes.  This was my one project.  haha.  But my Dad actually put up the rod.

My dad secured the mirror with little nails so my fear of it falling off the mantle would not come true.

My dad put moldings where the fireplace bricks meet the the wall, making it look much more finished.

My dad also secured the bookcases in both our room and Landon's room to the wall.  This was another fear that the kids would climb up them only to have them tumble forward onto them.  No longer - they are fully secure with L-brackets now.

 He also put up a simple mirror that I had found at Goodwill to the back of our bedroom door.

He put up many many switch plates and covers that have been long-needed.

I also found this lovely oil painting at Goodwill for only $30 ($30!) and it now is hanging up in our living room (thanks to... you guessed it... my dad).

The moldings are now all painted thanks to my mom!  This is probably the biggest project we have been wanting done for over a year now.  Yep, one year that the moldings were half painted.  No longer.  Thanks mom!

Okay, I can't take all the credit - my mom ironed and ironed and ironed the drapes for me while I sewed.

My dad also put up this light fixture in our kitchen.  Much better than the old one.  This one was purchased from walmart.com and I am really impressed with the quality for the price.  It was just a little over $100 and this is a really good price from what I've found with my research for such a modern fixture - iron with a linen drum insert.  Of course, this wasn't put up without incident.  My dad and I couldn't get the old fixture off without breaking the glass, so being the crafty ones we are, we thought we would tape a garbage bag around the old fixture and then shatter it with a hammer, which we did.  I bet you could guess the outcome.  Crash went the fixture and all the glass went slicing through the garbage bag shattering all over the kitchen floor, leaving the garbage bag still hanging onto the ceiling.  Bad idea.  I couldn't help but laugh because all of us just started cleaning up, as if it were no big deal.  Job was done and now we could put up the new one.  Here it is...

Oh yeah, and he painted our kitchen door, something Lizzy and I missed when she helped me paint the kitchen a few months ago.

Of course now I realize we may have scared away any potential guests.  I promise, we will not make you work!  Only my parents.  :-)  Oh, and Lizzy, my sister's daughter (my niece) who helped so much right after Tosca was born, by helping me paint the kitchen and watching the baby.  Thanks Mom and Dad and Lizzy!

And because you endured me listing all my endless home improvement projects, I leave you with a cute picture of Etame.   Awww...

January 20, 2011


I made my first diaper and finished it a couple nights ago.  I don't intend on solely cloth diapering and I'm not even sure I will prefer to do it at all, but I had to try.

I used this pattern that I bought at Bolt in Portland over the summer. It was not easy but fun to try something different and quite a change from the big projects (drapes!) I've been sewing as of late.

The fit seems to be a bit small on Tosca.  Her legs are chubbing up I guess.  But still, the pattern must run small.  I tried it out on her today.  We went to a playdate at my friend Sara's house and I noticed Tosca was having a "movement".  I panicked.  I didn't think the diaper was absorbent for one of her infamous blowouts, so I rushed her to the toilet.  Sara was laughing so hard at me trying to potty train my 3 month old!  All was well but I'm going to need a few of these to even make a dent in all the disposables we use.  The cloth diapers are not as absorbent as disposables but they are so much softer and colorful which I love.

She looks pretty happy with herself, don't you think?  I thrifted this beautiful knitted button sleeper many months before she was born.  It's very warm and of course I love all things vintage - oh the history!

January 17, 2011

Our Resident Fox

The neighbor feeds the foxes (fox?) so we have at least one that makes a loop around our house up to theirs and then back down through our front yard.  We've seen it at least 3 times now and always get excited.  It is really fast and skittish so it doesn't usually stop long enough to get a good look at it.

Until today.  This time the fox stopped to have some bird food from our feeder that had fallen.  Apparently we are feeding the foxes as well, and deer I'm sure.

The fox had a hurt front leg with visible blood showing.  I ached for it, wishing he/she could just get it bandaged up, but I guess that is life in the wild.  Landon though a coyote maybe got to him.  I'm not sure but I hope he gets better.  I'm soft like that.

Etame doesn't quite understand what all the fuss is about.  She hears us excitedly yelling, "fox!  fox!" and she says quietly, "that sneaky fox will try to swipe anything." (a Dora reference for all you non-toddler moms).

January 14, 2011

Quiet (and Retail Therapy)

My parents have said goodbye and it was a hard day for me.  The business of projects and lively house during the day came to an end and I was sad.

So today I went shopping!  I bought these Ugg boots (in black), even though I deemed Uggs way too trendy and swore they would soon go out of style... for the past 5 years!

While at the mall, I went by Athropologie, one if my favorite stores to just look around in and pretend like it's my own boudoir (had to look that up to make sure it was what I thought it was... yep!) and see Athro's beautiful window displays.  Today a woman was hot glue gunning paper ruffled to a paper skirt on a manikin (had to look that word up too as I couldn't remember to spell it for the life of me).  The skirt was lovely already and Etame was really interested in it too.  Anyhow, while in there I saw a great book on family dinners which I had seen before and have it in mind for a good friend who cooks up dinner for us each week (hope she's not reading this).  I almost bought it but Etame had to go to the bathroom and the line was long.  So I put it down and later, I whipped out my iPhone and ordered it on Amazon for a few dollars less!

Of course, I can't ever go to Amazon without buying things off of my wishlist so I also bought a couple sewing books that I had been wanting.  They are so good, those Amazon people, at upselling.  So easy to just add a couple more things that you want - and hey, shipping is then free!  So it's worth it!

So I was a bit of a consumer today.  I won't mention the sale items I bought at Williams-Sonoma.  Pantry items to make my dinner cooking evenings a bit easier, and Harney and Sons tea.  My mother-in-law bought us English Breakfast tea from Starbucks many years ago that was this brand and it was delicious.  Seriously, a treat.  I used to think tea was tea and it was all the same.  Not so.  The aroma and taste are really a treat.  The little square canister is a keepsake too.

Retail therapy worked for me today, it worked hard for me today.  :-)

Now movie night tonight at the church and snow tubing tomorrow!  And GO RAVENS!!!!!!