Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pintervention

It's only a matter of time...



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Friday, December 30, 2011

A Vision in Plaid

I saw this on pinterest today labeled "Dream Room."
Oh. My. Word. REALLY?

It's a vision in plaid, isn't it? I told Eric that I'd get myself the vest and hat and he could wear the matching quilted button-down shirt. Who DOESN'T want to match their bedding?

I understand that this is the personal aesthetic of some humans (otherwise why would anyone on the planet have labeled this their "dream room?"); but this is one of the many reasons I *really* want to create a pin board called, "Stuff I think is hideous."

I'm resisting the urge to make this board because the last thing I want to do is hurt someone's feelings. If the creator found out that I hated their designs, it might crush their hopes and dreams of becoming a famous designer of ugly things...or an interior decorator for lumberjacks.

Update: I just re-read this post and realize that I've been a little harsh. I think what makes this bedding terrible isn't the design of the bedspread itself - it's just the combo of so much plaid in one place. The bedspread in and of itself would be fine (although still not my taste) and I wouldn't have batted an eye if not for the matching picnic set, vest, hat, and button down shirt. Fin.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Ode to Bathroom Subway Tile

I was talking to someone about subway tile at work today and now I can't stop thinking about it, so you get to enjoy the product of my obsessive brain. Here is my ode to subway tile (source links embedded in images):

Blue subway tile in the shower:
cottage-renovations-08[1]

White subway tile/charcoal grout:

Subway tile almost to ceiling

Perfect...

Love the half wall of tile and how it carries into the tiled shower...

Wall mounted toilet?

Tin ceiling, subway tile wall, wainscoting - and check out that beautiful floor...

Pale green...so pretty

Gray...
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Wowee...this one is stunning! Love the skylight, sink, tall window, greenery...so beautiful!
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Tub awesomeness overload in 3...2...

Simple.

...and my dream bathroom looks eerily close to this one with a few minor changes:
1) I want a chandelier
2) I want LOTS of natural light
Otherwise, this is pretty much the epitome of awesome in my bathroom aesthetic:
Own entity, New York bathroom, subway tile, tile bath

Happy Daydreaming!
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011 - Gifts, Guilt, and Gratitude

[Soapbox Alert (don't worry...I'll get to some non-soapboxy stuff too)]

EVERY Christmas from the time Sadie was born, I've looked at Eric just before bedtime on Christmas Eve and lamented that there weren't enough presents for Sadie. And every Christmas, I've managed to spread things out (guiltily) so that there appears to be more than there actually is.

This Christmas, for the first time ever, I didn't have that guilt. I actually felt guilty for the opposite: I thought Sadie was getting too much for Christmas.

Did I hear you ask why? Well, friend, even if you don't want to know why, I'm going to tell you anyway, k?

This year, I've done some soul searching as it relates to "stuff," and I've come to a few personal conclusions (please feel free to diverge from mine and come up with your own...none of us are here to judge, right?):
1) I believe that the more stuff a human has, the less likely they are to appreciate anything at all. I'm sure you know someone who complains that her soap opera got cancelled, her in-home chef is out sick, and her daily 2pm massage visits are too far of a drive from her house...you know that chick, right?

2) I have vivid recollections of reading the Little House on the Prairie books as a child and feeling sorry for Laura because she only got one doll and had to use a pig bladder for a ball. Blech. Now that I look back on that, though, I realize that she probably loved that doll WAY more than our little girls love all 5 gazillion of their dolls. If it's all you've got, you treasure it. If you have a hundred of them, they're disposable...i.e., not as awesome. Right?

3) A lot of first world citizens are complaining about how hard their lives are right now when there is real and extreme poverty in the world. There are children who don't even know what a manufactured toy looks like, and we have rotten mommies and daddies lamenting (loudly) that they're too broke to buy 3 year old little Johnny the iPhone he's been wanting. I'm exaggerating a little (I hope...am I?)

I have seen kid, after kid, after kid look at a toy and snarl because it isn't exactly what they wanted. I have also seen Christmas trees that are barely visible behind the mound o' commercialism. I'd be willing to bet that there are children out there who would be happy with a pencil eraser. If your child snarls at a toy, please send the toy to a kid who will appreciate it.

---
These revelations are all brand new for me. Like I said, every year up until this one, I've been very sad about the (what seemed to be) limited quantity of stuff Sadie was getting. Sadie didn't get any more for Christmas this year than she has every other year...in fact, I think she got less, but for some reason it just felt like so. much. stuff.

Alas, we did it...just like you probably did. I don't know if you'll consider her haul to be way to few toys (some of you will) or way too many toys (again...some of you will). Whatever your style of gifting is, I hope you don't feel guilty about it (like I do). If you are an over-giver, I hope you give and give and give until your house is so full of crap awesome stuff from China that you have to move into a bigger house. If you are an under-giver, I hope that you are joyful in your simplicity and don't let little Suzy feel bad because all of her friends got a Ferrari for Christmas.

[Exit Soapbox]

Now that I've said all of that, I, of course, can't deny that there's something magical about seeing your child wake up on Christmas morning and RUN to the tree to see what Santa left. We are extremely fortunate to live where we live and to have the things we have. Because of that, our little girl had an amazing Christmas. Not only did she get four separate Christmases with six grandparents (and we all know how the grandfolk do Christmas), but Santa did a *really* good job this year.

The only things on Sadie's list were:
1) An Elastigirl suit. Educate yourself. Not only is the movie The Incredibles 7 years old (which makes paraphernalia extremely hard to come by), Elastigirl suits aren't made for children. I have it on really good authority that Santa used a Violet suit (identical to Elastigirl's) and just threw away the packaging.
2) An Elastigirl doll. Completely out of production. I bet Santa went to ebay for a "previously loved" version...don't you think?

She also randomly throughout the year hinted that she wanted a guitar, a piano and some play dough...she's a pretty easy-to-get-along-with kid.

Here's her Santa haul:
Elastigirl suit, Elastigirl doll, Elastigirl boots, Play Dough, guitar, piano...AND...princess dance bag, plush Jasmine, plush Pocahontas, legwarmers, belts, three DVD's, personalized scrubs (because "Dr. Intihar" wants to be a veterinarian these days), My Little Pony, Barbie "Pet Vet", and a new tutu skirt.

At 1:00am I went to bed. At 6:15am, our little early bird was up gasping at her Christmas gifts...

The biggest Santa hit was - without a doubt - her Elastigirl stuff:

She also loved her instruments...

Mommy and daddy also gave her a few things...boring stuff like clothes and undershirts, but I'm ecstatic to announce that Sadie's very favorite gifts of all this year came from mommy and daddy...

Eric gave her her very own NCSU youth-sized hat...she had been asking him for one. They have a special wolfpack fan bond. :) Here's Elastigirl in her NC State gear:

I gave her the dollhouse that I made for her. She has played with it ALL day. WOOHOO!

She has told our family (on the phone) all day how great her Christmas was...pretty sure there's nothing cooler as a mom than being able to do fun things for your children.

I have been so blessed with a child who is appreciative of what she gets, so I guess I shouldn't over-think Christmas too much, but I can't help but wonder if she wouldn't be just as happy with a doll and a ball and her imagination. We'll never know because as long as I'm able, I'm always gonna do a little more for her than I probably should...

Merry Christmas!!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cousins

Cousins are the bomb. Here's proof:

With Bebop...

Sadie and her bff/cousin Emmie

Emmie expertly applying the pinkest makeup I've ever seen to my daughter's face

Voila!
...wow. Stunning, right?

Me with my girls - wish I could do this every day!
...notice Charlie a little jealous of all the snuggles. Don't worry...he got his fair share too.

Cousin snuggles...check out those pink lips - *muah*

Me, Sadie, and Em...

Nana and her girlies:

Love my girls, love it when they're together, and love that they love each other...if you don't have cousins, you should really work on that.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry Christmas!!


Vacation with the fam in NC...we should be in the vicinity of a Bojangle's around supper time :) Woohoo!


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy...er...Hanukkah!

Last night, on an extremely crowded train, Sadie was singing a Hanukkah song that she had learned at school. After she was done, she looked at Eric and me and yelled, "But we don't celebrate Hanukkah because we love JESUS!"

Eric and I couldn't look at each other for the rest of the train ride without laughing. I laughed so hard I cried.

Let me explain how this happened. A week ago, we had this conversation:

Sadie: Mommy, why do my friends celebrate Hanukkah and we don't?
Me: Because Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday, not a Christian holiday. We're Christians, so we celebrate Christmas.
Sadie: What does "Christians" mean?
Me: Christian is what you call people who love Jesus

...and there you have it. My sweet little Jesus freak totally gets the shout-it-from-the-rooftops concept, apparently.

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DIY Three Ring Binder Barbie Dollhouse Tutorial


Sadie has been asking for a dollhouse. There are a few important reasons why a dollhouse isn't a good match for our family right now. They are as follows:
1) Dollhouses are big. Our apartment is small. New math tells us that big stuff in a small home is a bad combo.
2) Dollhouses are expensive. Oh, money tree, oh money tree, wherefore art thou, money tree? Even the "cheap" ones are over $100. A really super awesome one is $400.
3) Dollhouses are not cute. I don't mean to be rude to Barbie, but I'm just not into her house. Especially not for $150.

I thought (and thought and thought) about how I could possibly reconcile Sadie's desire for a dollhouse with my desire to combat the three evils of dollhousedom: It had to be compact, inexpensive, and cute. Welcome to the tutorial on how to make this happen on a dime!

Step 1: Purchase FOUR three-ring binders...these will be your "rooms"

Step 2: Purchase cute (small print) scrapbook paper to serve as "wallpaper"

Step 3: Trim the paper to fit your binder, and decoupage (carefully to avoid creases) onto the inside "walls"
Kitchen:

Living Room:

Bedroom (used two different papers for this one + trimmings from the bathroom for the chair railing):

Bathroom:

Step 4 (optional): Make a little cover-curtain for the three rings. I just sewed a piece of fabric with a hole at the top and the bottom (for the top and bottom rings to go through), just like you'd sew a simple curtain:

Open the rings, put the curtain on:
Ta-da! No more glaring indications that these are actually 3-ring binders :)

Step 5: Decoupage any furniture that you will not be making/buying for the house directly onto the walls (dude...not every piece of furniture needs to be mobile...even Barbie's dream house is half made up of cardboard pictures on the wall, amirite?)

Important:
1) I found all of my paste-to-the-wall images online and printed them in color onto normal printer paper - furniture, lamps, Barbie-themed artwork, etc...I got all the images online. I have no recollection of where I got them - if they are your images, please let me know so that I can appropriately source!
2) Before decoupaging them onto the walls, I decoupaged them onto cardstock paper so that you wouldn't be able to see the wall pattern through them (since copy paper is so thin). In hindsight, I could have saved this step if I had just printed onto cardstock. Live and learn, right?


Step 6 - Furniture making time!! Make everything you'll need for the house (that isn't already pasted to the walls). I made (mostly out of styrofoam, cardboard, fabric, and hot glue):

Bed and bedding (bedroom)
Bathtub and sink (bathroom)

I broke down and bought a $1.99 miniature topiary at Michael's. Sorry.

Once the rooms are all finished, you'll have an adorable three ring binder Barbie house! Sadie's has a...
Kitchen:

Living Room:

Bedroom:

Bathroom:

Here are all the rooms together:

Aerial view of the house when opened (sans furniture):

The best part...the Binders are SO compact that you can remove the furniture, fold them up, and put them on a bookshelf!


So there you have it. I probably spent about $30 on the entire project, but you could EASILY do it for less than $10. Cheap notebooks, cheap paper, re-use things for the furniture pieces...easy peasy.

Let's recap:
Compact? - Check.
Inexpensive? - Check.
Cute? - Double Check.

Mission Accomplished. Christmas is gonna be awesome!

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