Monday, April 30, 2012

baking with my boy

my son and i used to bake every monday. small tiny boy on the kitchen chair, at the kitchen counter, cracking eggs over open bowls, perfecting billy's vanilla, vanilla cupcakes. it's been awhile since those tiny hands and big blue eyes, full of wonder, baked with mine.
today is monday, and today we baked.
we made strawberry scones.
he barely needed any help.
some mixture's still fascinated him.
watching him mix still fascinated me.
we've never baked scones together before.
we weren't sure if this is how they were supposed to look.
perhaps whole wheat flour was not the best idea?
drizzled strawberry juice and milk, sprinkled with sugar, doesn't look so bad.
impromptu visit to the backyard strawberry patch.
imagining all the strawberries!
the scones did not end up tasting so great.
we didn't care.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


   so for the past couple of weeks my girlfriends and i have been planning a "kim-napping." with wonderful orchestration from the Lord, we executed it just perfectly this past saturday.
   okay, let me back up. my friend kim has twice, told me about this thing where you coordinate a day (with the husbands of your friends and child care as needed) and then barge in on them and "kid nap" them for the day. once they, or in this case she, has spruced up a bit ( 'cuz you really don't know what you'll barge in on =D) take them to do all or any of their favorite things.
   our friend kim's birthday had slipped past without us batting an eye. in fact, her family kind of forgot it too! if i may just say, it was a birthday numbered with a frown upon her face. yikes! so four of us started planning her "kim-napping' and this is a pictorial of her special day, starting with our sneak up on her =) i hope you enjoy!


                                                                     high tea here

                                                                   beautiful kim

                                                                 lovely co-horts!

                                               just a funny "oh-no-she-di'nt" look

                                                                   dainty foods!
   this fun high tea was topped off with an evening of thrifting - one of kimmy's favorite things =D
   kim is a dear, sweet, seasoned with loving wisdom sister in Christ. you can check out her lovely blog here:  . allow me to ask you to be patient with her blog updating as her home school year is quickly coming to an end, and she is quite busy closing it up.
   have you ever friend-napped anyone for the day? i highly recommend you do =D thanks for reading and spending your time in our neck of the woods =D

Monday, April 23, 2012

thrift store decor

 i love thrift store finds! my local salvation army is my all time favorite spot to go thrifting. i don't look for the normal stuff. wait...what is normal stuff? my plain of attack at the local sal-val is as follows:
 1.) sheets
 yes sheets! i know what your probably thinking, "eeeeew, gross!" oh contra ire my friends. these are not for the bed. if you think about the yardage per price - it's the most cost effective way to buy fabric to make...well, whatever you want. i like to look for older sheets, usually flower prints. big flower print from 1950-1970's to small ones from earlier, or whatever shrikes my fancy :)  i have a few skirts for me and matching dressing for my gal, planned out for the small vintage sheet collection that i'm growing.
 2.) furniture
 i'd really like to learn how to reupholster, in fact, i  have a big reupholstering project planned for this summer. so i keep this in mind when spying out furniture finds. i like to look for old sewing machines and sewing machine desk/tables, and again, whatever strikes my fancy.
 3.) house wears
 i love pyrex!!  not exclusively though, i also very much enjoy fire king. often i find pyrex mixing bowls at my local sal-val. the hunt for interesting tea cups and saucers, white bubble glass and glass flower vases goes down big time in this section. i almost always find something.
 4.) toys
 my kids love whenever i come home from a day of thrifting. often they end up with more scores then i do! this time around i found a barely used candy land bored game, a dora the explorer dominoes set, a really neat alphabet train puzzle and a strawberry short cake goes to ballet class book!
 5.) scarves, handbags and shoes
 this time i scored a pair of roller skates!!! i have been wanting a pair of roller skates for... at least the last 5 years. i'm pretty sure i've been roller skating since i could walk but i have been missing it for many years now. i have no idea what happened to my old skates and new ones are just never in the budget. not when their is so many other other fun things to buy new for the kiddos. the skates i scored yesterday were only $4.99!!! too bad it's been raining ever since - i can't wait to get my roll on!!
 from their on i hit the racks and racks of clothes if, and that's a big if,  i'm not totally done with the heat in my local sal-val. i don't know why, maybe it's all the excitement i get from all the fun finds, but literally? the store makes me sweat! that and i have two consignment shops that i go to first when i'm on the hunt for clothes.
 so i wanted to share with you three finds that i'm excited to spruce up and hang on the wall. and let me tell you, i have "hang on the wall anxiety." i don't know why? we have our own home. i could put holes in all the walls and hang nothing at all if i wanted. i was always very conscience about not putting holes in the walls wherever i rented and now that i can do it, i just simply can't!
 so check out my "hang on the wall" finds!

  okay so let's be real, the pictures inside the frames will have to go. i know someone took some time cross stitching the one that says "cape may 1859". yes, i do actually wonder who it was that stitched it and what in the world happened at the cape in 1859 that so inspired this stitching? but it's gotta go. i'm not even  a big fan of the beach (i hear you all gasping in unison - it's true though) i'm thinking that a fresh can of spray paint and sweet pictures of my babes ( maybe just their silhouettes?) would be the most perfect way to fill these.
 here's my other find:

i'm not sure what it is about this lady that i love, but i love her! my girl friend kim says that she promotes solitude and reading...i suppose. their is something about her though ... i cannot put my finger it -  i love her!! i can't wait to find a frame for this lady and layer her into the decor of our house, some day - haah! not sure if she'll end up on the wall or propped up on a table.
 how about you? do you like to go thrifting? would you hang this lady on your wall? what is it about her that i love so much? do you know anything about her?
 thanks so much for reading and spending your time in our neck of the woods =)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

orgainzing & teaching it to little ones

 i've been trying to figure out how to organize the arts and crafts room. quite honestly, i really wasn't sure where to start! my area is pretty organized, unless i'm in the middle of a project. if that is the case, and currently it is, then it looks like all the stuff from inside my desk and from on the shelves has been burped up and spewed joyously all over my desk...and floor for that matter.
 my daughter's desk is up against mine for two reasons 1.) because she needs to be monitored at all times while in that room & 2. for a lack of space. i'm really eager to set up her space because it feels as though her mess is mine, and sometimes, that's just not the case...sometimes.
 while at target today i was checking out the dollar section at the entrance (my favorite section after paper and office supplies). they had tons of great organizational tools! boxes, totes, small creates, wire cubes, cubes with dividers, cubes with lids ... it was an organizers paradise at unbeatable prices! unless you're still not sure what you are organizing yet - uuuugh! so off we went to the office supply section.
 then it hit me, my son has a hard time simply getting comfortable at his desk because he has stacks of papers - i mean art work and his area really should take president. here was my original way to organize his art work:

uuuuuuuuuum - yes, it does bug me, big time!  i'm pretty sure it bugs him too, so organize it - we did. here was the plan: each kiddo got his and her own one inch, three ringed binder. unfortunately the .99 cent ones were all gone. the neat thing is, that the ones we did buy, had clear pockets in the front, spine and back for decorating! who wants to organize unless it's gonna be fun? certainly not my son! these were not the cheapest or the second cheapest but we got them for $3.97 each. 
once home, we made three piles 1. throw away 2. keep 3. give/make. not too hard for a five year old to understand, but he did need help. the idea here is that the art he'd really like to keep gets hole punched and put away in the binder. this makes it easy for him to look at it, show it to others, and keep it tidy. the art that he enjoyed but didn't necessarily want to keep for himself was put into a scrap box. this isn't redundant but a good place for him to pull from while making cards, gifts or mixed media art. the throw away pile is the art that he didn't feel like he needed to keep at all.

                           just look at that look of pride after a lot of whole punching and decorating!
 originally i said that when this note book was full we would throw everything in it away and start over all again. it sounds easy but after sorting threw all his art work, i'm just not so sure? i don't really wanna have a bazillion one inch binders by the time he's 18 though, so i think it's the best solution. i did find two pictures that i personally wanted to keep forever and ever:
one titled "Jesus cross" and the other "Jesus rising from the grave." these will be proudly be framed and displayed on the wall - somewhere. although i have yet to hang anything on our walls. for now i'm very pleased with how his area of the craft room is turning out. baby steps, and maybe just one every day, but one day that room will  be a work of art, in this organizer's eyes :)
do you have any special tips on keeping, throwing away, or show casing your children's art? i'd love to hear your ideas! thanks for stopping by and hanging out in our neck of the woods :)
here are some after pix of mikey's arts & crafts area in the room. with the simply task from above, his area has become neat and tidy! i wish i had taken before photos of his desk! now to be consistent with him in keeping it this way - wish me luck!

Monday, April 16, 2012

color therapy

 i love color!! when shopping for our house my husband and i dreamed of all the colors that we'd like to paint in all the different rooms. when we found this house we were sooo excited that it was painted in all different good, coordinating colors. not colors we'd choose but nice ones. a lot of the colors have stayed as is, however, the downstairs family room was a very strange wood panelling. strange as in "hunt-the-deer-and-quail" themed scenery on it. we took it down only to reveal more dark brown wood grain panelling.
 "enough!" i said, "i'm just painting it!" and off we went to choose colors.
 originally this room was a playroom and we wanted it to feel like fun. not too stimulating but not too calming. with a that in mind my husband and i choose a granny smith apple green for two walls, a deep aqua blue for the other 2 walls and a peachy orange on all the trim. this did not make the play room feel fun and playful as we hoped. instead it felt more like an ice cream parlor at the beach. it didn't bother me but my husband would not enter the room at all. he said the colors "bothered" him.
 currently the room has been turned into a family room. we scored an old couch, found clean and free, on some one's front porch, a chaise lounge, free from a friend who was getting rid of it, and a reclining chair, again free, just off the side walk at another friends house. no shame here - i love usable and free =D
 the next color we choose was orange. good friends of ours  have a really wonderfully painted office of orange with navy blue trim. it looks fabulous and i feel cheerful whenever in it. little did i know that my husband was excited about the orange because he though we'd be moving into a more hockey themed room. more specifically? a philadelphia flyer's themed family room. no joke - he had another think coming! we really liked the orange and it tied nicely into the fireplace as it has a bit of orange in the stone. can you hear the big but coming? it was a very stimulating color - great for an office, not so great to relax and watch movies in, which is what we do the most in this room now.
 sticking with the theme of free, a friend of ours had two gallons of a pretty blue paint that i'm calling "periwinkle pause" and they didn't have plans to use it. last week i painted the trim and two walls this color - i love it! i do have plans on painting the rest of the room but being a busy momma, i can only do so much at once. the color feels calm and it's a nice feeling. the room does seems dark but i have big plans on brightening it up by recovering all the old mismatched furniture. ( a tutorial may be in the feature =D )
 it feels a little like we moved out of an orange traffic cone and into the sky :) here's the color difference:

so what do think? are you emotionally effected by color? when you think about painting a room, do you consider what you'll be doing in that room first?
thanks so much for reading a spending a little time in our neck of the woods :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

don't let me down mommy!

 this past winter i took care of a friends 8 month old daughter. she was a sweet heart and a gem to take care of. mikey was also a sweet heart and a gem to this little lady. gracie on the other hand started hoarding away her toys, and staking her claim on mommy whenever baby was too near me. i understood all of this and expected nothing less.
 i encouraged gracie first, to get to know this knew small friend, asking her where was baby's toes? mouth? ears? how many fingers does baby have? gracie started to introduce baby to some of her toys and eventually took an invested interest in baby's well being. she wanting to feed baby her bottles and baby-food, even wanted to change baby when she was stinky. don't worry, i didn't let her do much of the latter - although she was very helpful in handing me wipes while baby was working on her squirming skills.
 sometimes i would walk into another room, to find a pacifier, grab the wipes or find a bottle, only for a moment and always within, ear and often eye shot. funny thing is that when i stepped away i was first concerned for baby, wondering if being in a different environment without the bigger of the three familiar faces, she might get upset and cry. not so. instead it was gracie who came looking for me. once found, and often en route back to them, she would say, "i was wondering where you are mommy?" with question and relief in her voice.
 our house is a bi level and our living spaces are up stairs but the family room/play room is down stairs. gracie goes up and down the steps quite well, baby however, did not. when transitioning from one level to the next, gracie was suddenly unable to use the stairs. my gut instinct was to put my foot down and make her be the big girl that is was and just hold my hand while i held baby. quite honestly the fit she threw was not worth her heart ache or mine (call me a softy - i don't care). so i carried her down too, taking turns with her and baby. when baby was safely in which ever room, baby gate secured, i'd go back for gracie. here's the thing, while walking down the steps, holding me ever so tightly, she'd whisper in my ear, "don't let me down mommy."
 i knew that what she meant was, once we got downstairs please continue to hold me, but what i felt in my heart resonated through my being.
 don't let me down mommy. that's a really big thing to whisper into a mommy's ear. piggy back that new comment onto 'i was wondering where you are mommy," and good morning - holy wake up call - if ever i needed one!!
 i pray that my kiddos never have to wonder where i am, what i would think about any given situation and know full well, that no matter what, where, why & when, i will always love them.  i know their will be plenty of times, more then i wish to think on, that i will let them down. i pray that it is God that i don't let down, knowing full well that raising them up for Him, is doing my best to not let them down. even now that taking care of baby is done (she's home with her daddy now - yaaaaaaay for both of them! ) and those comments have long stopped (soon after baby stopped coming over )  i still hear them resonate in my head, whenever i look deep into their eyes, sink deep into their hugs and watch quietly while they sleep.
 the charge to parent is a holy high calling. often i take it for granted, take them for granted. i know all too soon they will be out the door, living on their own and i'll probably be that mom crying my eyeballs out and wondering if i did right by them - through God. i'm sure i will make decisions that will baffle them, say things that just don't quite make sense. it is my prayer however, that those things come straight from the Holy Father. that one day they may look back and think, 'oooooh - i get it i now...' but if that never happens, i pray, that no matter what it looks like to the world, i do my very best to never let them down in the Lord.

Friday, April 13, 2012

craft much?

 okay, so i got the arts & crafts room cleaned up so much so, that i even crafted yesterday! come on, let's hear it - "yaaaaaaaay!"  their is still tons of organizing that i really need and want to do. it's gotta be put on hold though until i can really wrap my mind around the different "stations" we have, and what i'd like to have at each one.
 for instance, my 5 year old mikey has a drafting table = his station. the drafting table was given to us by dear friends and was a total score =D my 2 year old gracie, has a small toddler table = her station. the hubs has a great drafting table that he bought ages ago = his station. the desk i have was a free "pick" from the side of the road (again another score =D ) = my station.
 each person has a "station" or spot of their own and i'm so thankful for this! for each of us to have a place of our own, to just spread out and create?! just the thought of it excites me and fills me with gratitude!
 so each family member really likes to do different things. i don't feel that all the supplies need to be out all the time, but i like them to be accessible and easy to find. so i need to do some brain storming and think about: each personality and 1.) what each person would appreciate having at a ready 2.) what supplies can be stored away 3.) how best to store them for each family member 4.) keeping in mind different ages and capabilities.
 i wanted to share with you what i did to spruce up the floor. this was back in november 2011 but i thought it was pretty neat, what do you think? does your family like to do arts and crafts? do you do it all together and do you have a special place to be free to express yourself in this way? oh, and if anyone has any ideas on nice ways to store supplies for any ages and stages, feel free to toss them my way.
if for some reason the above link isn't working, please click the link below to see what i did to the arts and crafts room floor :)
thanks for reading and thanks for watching too! it was a joy to share with you :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

holy m.i.a. blogger batman!!

 hello blogging world and virtual memory scrap book! my, how the time has flown by since i last blogged! i guess this happens to best of us? ... anyone? anyone? so much has happened since my last blog post, and really nothing at all has happened either. if that makes any sense?
 the kids are still saying and doing super cute things and yes, i've been missing typing them all out here. i know i'm gonna forget all the cute/rad things they did for the past few months - shame on me!!
 last week gracie told me, "the star wars music is stuck in my hair." yes. hair. no typo. she really said hair. i had to ask her a few times to be sure i was hearing her correctly. "yes, gracie girl. it bugs me too when i have star wars music stuck in my hair," was my response.
 i'm gonna miss her when she's grown, or at least when she better understands "sayings." her most favorite thing for the past couple of weeks is being a cat. we're lucky to get any english or half human words from her lately. she does make a cute cat and i don't even have to clean out a litter box so she can stay cat-like for a little while.
 mikey is still "making movies." nope, he doesn't play "make believe" or "pretend." he makes movies complete with different scenes and soundtracks.  he still builds stealth fighters only now out of legos instead of wooden models. lately he enjoys running around the house "extroying" any bad guys that are "threatening" us ladies =D links (a character from a cross bow firing game he and my husband play ) is at our house everyday and we have to sing happy birthday to him pretty much every morning at breakfast. so far links hasn't asked for any breakfast of his own, so he can hang out all he wants.
 my creative outlet has spilled out of the blogging world and all over the house. i have been repainting old furniture that i find any where for cheep or free. i have big ideas and a small budget. thankfully i really enjoy a challenge =) i'm also very thankful for honest friends who tell me when their is just too much color happening in one room. i need someone to pull back on the harness 'cuz i just don't know how when it comes to walls and furniture.
 i did start to scrapbook a for real type of scrapbook/journal. i really, really, really  (did i say REALLY?) enjoy it! except... it's in our arts & crafts room which has become such a mess that i can't even reach it. we did a ton of running family members around for a month or so, so tons of my house work has fallen to the way side. another good thing is that i enjoy cleaning and organizing, so now my excuse for not yet straightening it up is because i'm building up the anticipation of it all ... did you buy that? can't blame a gal for tryin'. i really do miss and quite frankly need a creative outlet, so i'll be signing off for now and going to attempt to straighten up that room. perhaps my next blog post will be "how to fit an artsy, craftsy family of four into one smallish arts and crafts room comfortably"...i better go get to it.