Monday, April 30, 2012

High Cotton

I'm working on a blog post about Lil C's 2nd birthday, which was April 23. I'm feeling old and slow these days, so it will take me a bit longer still.

For now I'll show you another snippet of our foyer, which continues to be a work in progress.

I got this super cheesy ornamental urn from the Family Dollar and wanted to put something nature-y in it. I considered willow and bamboo, which are fine if a little over-done these days. You know--big vases with tall sticks. You've seen them everywhere.

This weekend I procured (maybe "stole" would be the word my second grader would use) some cotton, which is an agricultural and cultural touchstone for our family. I'm pleased with the outcome. The pic is crappy, naturally. I am basically camera-less unless we borrow BG's work camera, so this is courtesy of my phone. Terrible blogger etiquette. Guilty.


The urn sits below a beautiful Scrabble-inspired shadow box with our family names. It was a thoughtful and crafty gift from a bloggy bff (visit her here).

It all comes together in my version of our family tree.  I hope our little chickens can fight the temptation of pecking those lovely poofs of cotton off the stalks! If they can't, we can always "find" more ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Seasons change

Our weekends have been taken over by the outdoors--in manifestations of soccer and yard work.

As soon as spring hit (which was back in winter some time, so says Mother Earth in spite of our silly calendar), our yard began to establish dominance. The poison ivy is back. Hedges were suddenly overgrown. The ground cover crawled on to the sidewalk and lay there, just daring BG to weed-eat it.

Last weekend BG and I spent about five hours outside, save for the occasional water break. Today it only took two. We found a few short cuts and have this yard team-work thing down to a science. Sure, my neighbors may wear their best judgy faces when they see me using the reverse-blow function on the blower instead of raking. Lazy or genius? Who cares if it gets me back in the A/C sooner.

Unfortunately the ballroom makeover has had to take a back seat to other projects this spring, but I'm hoping very soon I can focus my energy on it once again and establish my own form of dominance.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quick and Dirty DIY for the Soul

All of the blogs I'm following these days are books in the making. If I had a book deal (which I so do not), I'd call it "Quick and Dirty DIY for the Soul." Sometimes you just need a little success to remember you can rock a DIY at any scale. That is what I needed today. And this table was the target.


I wish I could say that BG dumpster-dove for this beaut. But he didn't. No, no, this is just what the G-chickens do to things (i.e., they destroy them). This table is a few years old and has outlived its made-in-China-and-sold-for-$15-with-four-chairs-at-Big-Lots life expectancy. To that I say pshaw. It's time for you to be fabulous, wee crappy table.

A few weekends ago, I picked up a yard of oil cloth on super-duper clearance. I saw it. It saw me. Even I am ODing on all the damask in this house, so the zebra stripes were a welcome change. It was marked at $3.99 a yard and rang up at half that. Oh, hai, come home with me! I know just what to do with you!


All I needed was a staple gun, but I over-achieved and layered the upholstery job with a table pad (white, from Target, for about $10). This way if--or rather, WHEN--my children abuse the oil cloth, I can gank it off and still have a non-hideous table between destruction and replacement. 

The corners are not upholstery perfection. I could tack them down. Eh, I'll probably get to that the same weekend I finally paint out the trim on the shelving unit pictured behind the table.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A year ago today, no joke

Last April 1, we were moving into our new house.

We had occupancy a few weeks before closing, so our purchase date differs from our move-in date by a bit. BFF-J picked up our two big girls, E and V, from our old house, and I got choked up a little at the thought of them coming home to a different home altogether. They were like the honey badger and didn't care; they were way more captivated by BFF-J's van's DVD system. My mom took the little two for the day us. There was a shoe debacle (young W's shoes were missing in the move, so Mom had to run to a local shop--with a barefoot 2yo--to get some kicks). My aunt, uncle, and cousin-in-law helped us move with a big U-Haul and a lot of sweat. Mom joined us later with the babies and unpacked my kitchen and bathrooms and put sheets on our bed. Those are the true necessities in life, amirite?

BG and I were so wiped out from moving and cleaning, I think I fell into the bed in a puddle of tears. I cry when I'm tired. It's quite charming and never embarrassing at all  /sarcasm

Even with those tears, I have never regretted moving or buying this house for a second, and I know BG agrees. It has changed our lives in so many wonderful ways--reducing commute times (which has the pay-off of negating BG's severe road rage), getting us closer to the big girl's school (which will be V's school in August), and introducing us to a whole load of new local friends... with wine!

This past year, we accomplished the following:
--Creating a mudroom from an outdated and too-small breakfast room
--Getting an overgrown yard in shape, front, back, and side
--Cleaning up the front walk
--Organizing a metric frack-ton of stuff
--Painting a whole bunch (foyer, hall, ballroom)
--Decorating, in our unskilled and slightly pathetic way
--Making the ballroom functional
--Living and loving life with the four little Gs

There is still so much to do (like the significant ballroom update I owe you guys). It will come. There's time. As Edgar Allen Poe once said, "I have great faith in fools -- self-confidence, my friends call it."